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Turkey sentences 14 journalists from Cumhuriyet newspaper to prison on terrorism charges

Turkey sentences 14 journalists from Cumhuriyet newspaper to prison on terrorism charges
 

Turkey sentences 14 journalists of the daily Cumhuriyet to prison for terrorism.

A court in Istanbul convicted 14 employees of the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet and sentenced them to prison terms ranging from two and a half to seven and a half years on charges of supporting, through their reporting, organisations that Turkey considers terrorist groups such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party Front (DHKP-C).

The prosecution also accused them of having “terrorist” links to the Islamist brotherhood of the preacher Fethullah Gülen, also considered a terrorist group in Turkey after being accused by the government of being responsible for the 2016 coup attempt.

Only three of the accused were acquitted.

Among those convicted was cartoonist Musa Kart, who was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison.

The Turkish court also ruled that the trial against Can DündarThe Turkish court also ruled that the trial against the newspaper’s editor will continue separately and placed the journalists on probation with a travel ban until the appeal process is completed.

Some of the workers of the Cumhuriyet newspaper drawn by Semih Poroy, Top right cartoonist Musa Kart.

The court handed down the following prison sentences:

 
   

Seven years, three months and 15 days for Akin Atalay, chairman of the Cumhuriyet Foundation
Six years and three months for the columnists Orhan Erinç and Hikmet Çetinkaya
Two years and six months for Kadri Gürsel, columnist and chairman of the Turkish National Committee of the International Press Institute.
Three years and nine months for columnists Güray Öz and Hakan Kara; cartoonist Musa Kart, lawyer and founding board member Mustafa Kemal Güngör and board member Önder Çelik.
Seven years and six months for columnist Aydin Engin, editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu and reporter Ahmet Sik.
Three years, one month and 15 days for accountant Emre Iper.
Four years and six months for Cumhuriyet Foundation board member Bülent Utku.

This trial began on 24 July 2017 and the journalists were charged with “aiding an armed terrorist organisation, without being members of it“. They faced sentences of up to 29 years in prison.

On 28 July 2017, was released on bail along with six of his colleagues, while the rest remained in prison awaiting sentencing yesterday.

Several internationalorganisations have already condemned the sentence as an attack on freedom of expression and press freedom. The director of IPI (International Press Institute) considers the sentence “an act of profound injustice”.

Little joke in Turkey

The government does not mince its words when it comes to repressing and persecuting any kind of dissent.

Just look at some of the actions against artists, journalists and anyone else who gets in their way.

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More than 100 cases worldwide:

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