View all newsletters
Sign up for our free email newsletters

Fighting for quality news media in the digital age.

  1. News
February 16, 2018updated 19 Feb 2018 10:04am

Six journalists given life sentences in Turkish court, local media reports

By PA Mediapoint

A court in Istanbul has sentenced six journalists accused of involvement in a 2016 coup attempt to life prison terms, according to Turkey‘s state-run news agency.

Anadolu said those sentenced on Friday include Ahmet Altan, former editor-in-chief of Taraf newspaper, his brother, journalist and academic Mehmet Altan, and prominent journalist Nazli Ilicak.

The journalists were accused of links to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for the failed coup against President Tayyip Erdogan (pictured) on July 15 2016. Gulen denies the accusation.

The defendants were charged with attempts against Turkey‘s constitution and membership of a terror organisation.

The group were employed by Gulen-linked media organisations but have rejected the charges, denying any involvement in the coup attempt.

Mehmet Altan’s lawyer, Ergin Cinmen, said: “Of course we are going to appeal the verdict. It’s a decision of the century and will need to be taught in law faculties.

“It’s a decision where freedoms of expression and thought have been destroyed.”

Content from our partners
<a></a>Key ways to futureproof your media career as journalism job cuts bite deep
Slow online ads cost UK publishers £50m a year: Here's how to fix them
Mather Economics and InsurAds combine to help publishers boost revenue

More than 38,000 people, including journalists, are in jail as part of an ongoing large-scale government crackdown launched on Mr Gulen’s network of followers after the attempted coup.

More than 110,000 have been sacked from government jobs.

Ahmet Altan, a former newspaper chief editor, and his brother, Mehmet Altan – a columnist and academic – were accused of appearing together with veteran journalist Mr Ilicak in a political debate show on a Gulen-linked television channel.

Prosecutors deemed that their comments indicated they had prior knowledge of the coup attempt.

In January, Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay – another journalist being tried separately – should be released pending the outcome of their trials, but a lower court refused to implement the decision, raising concerns about rule of law in the country.

Picture: Reuters/Osman Orsal

Topics in this article :

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

Select and enter your email address Weekly insight into the big strategic issues affecting the future of the news industry. Essential reading for media leaders every Thursday. Your morning brew of news about the world of news from Press Gazette and elsewhere in the media. Sent at around 10am UK time. Our weekly does of strategic insight about the future of news media aimed at US readers. A fortnightly update from the front-line of news and advertising. Aimed at marketers and those involved in the advertising industry.
  • Business owner/co-owner
  • CEO
  • COO
  • CFO
  • CTO
  • Chairperson
  • Non-Exec Director
  • Other C-Suite
  • Managing Director
  • President/Partner
  • Senior Executive/SVP or Corporate VP or equivalent
  • Director or equivalent
  • Group or Senior Manager
  • Head of Department/Function
  • Manager
  • Non-manager
  • Retired
  • Other
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
Thank you

Thanks for subscribing.

Websites in our network