The trial of Turkish Cypriot journalist Ali Kismir, who faces ten years in prison for “insulting” the Turkish Cypriot armed forces, was postponed once again on Wednesday.

The trial had initially been scheduled to begin on October 6 last year, but proceedings will now start on March 4 at the earliest after this latest delay.

Speaking outside court in northern Nicosia, Kismir’s lawyer and Cyprus Turkish Bar Association chairman Hasan Esendagli said it is now expected that the case will be transferred to northern Nicosia’s high criminal court.

He then moved on to the particulars of the case, saying the article for which Kismir has been charged, in which he likened the headquarters of the ‘TRNC security forces command’ to a “brothel” in 2020, “was not related to the security forces command or its character”.

Kismir had made the comparison after it had allegedly been visited by representatives of Ersin Tatar in the run-up to that October’s Turkish Cypriot leadership election.

“It is up to the court to decide whether a journalist will be tried in the high criminal court for an article he wrote in 2020,” Esendagli said.

“We are ready to defend our position that there is no crime and this issue hangs on the matter of freedom of the press and freedom of expression.”