20 March 2018

Istanbul court releases 7 Turkish daily journalists

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A court in Istanbul ordered the release of seven Cumhuriyet daily journalists from custody on Friday who face serious terrorism-related charges. reports citing Huriyyet.

The seven journalists will still have to appear before a trial to face charges against them.

In April, a court in Istanbul accepted an indictment against the 19 Cumhuriyet newspaper administrators and writers.

Out of 19 facing trial, two are fugitives -- including the daily's former editor-in-chief Can Dundar; 12 had been remanded in custody while five had been released earlier pending trial.

The suspects, including Dundar, had been charged with sponsoring the PKK, Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and leftist DHKP/C terrorist organizations.

Among those released pending trial were Bulent Utku, Mustafa Kemal Gungor, Haci Musa Kart, Guray Tekin Oz, Turhan Gunay, Onder Celik and Hakan Karasinir; the seven will continue to face a travel ban.

Other suspects Ahmet Sik, Akin Atalay, Kadri Gursel and Murat Sabuncu will remain in jail, the court said.

Prison sentences requested by the state prosecution ranged from seven-and-a-half years to 43 years.

The court began its first hearing in the case on July 24; the next hearing is expected in September this year.

The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU and has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 people since July 2015.

FETO is said to be behind the July 15 defeated coup that martyred 250 people, as well as a years-long infiltration of Turkish institutions -- particularly the military, police, and judiciary -- to form what is commonly known as a parallel state.\

2017.07.28 / 22:44
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