Cicek, former editor of the leftist weekly Atilim, was detained on March 15, 1996, on his way to his father’s house in Istanbul. His wife was detained the following day at their Istanbul home. Cicek was charged with alleged membership in an illegal organization, under Article 168 of the penal code. His lawyer claimed that the only evidence against Cicek was his affiliation with Atilim, which the state asserted was the mouthpiece of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP).
Court documents show that Cicek was accused of being an MLKP leader and of having ordered an armed assault on the offices of an ultra-right-wing party in Istanbul, along with having edited Atilim. According to the defense, Cicek claimed that he was tortured by police but made no confession. He was convicted and sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison.