Turkish journalists face terror charges

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Journalists
Journalists

The trial of two journalists of Turkish left-wing newspaper Cumhuriyet over their alleged support for terrorists began on Wednesday in the absence of one of the two plaintiffs, former editor Can Dundar.

Along with Erdem Gul, the paper’s bureau chief in Ankara, Dundar is accused of “intentionally supporting an armed terrorist organisation’’.

However, he left Turkey in July.

According to defense lawyer Bulent Utku, the prosecution has demanded a sentence of 10 years for both Dundar and Gul.

Gul was in Istanbul to take part in court proceedings, which are off-limits to the public.

Meanwhile, the court is not expected to reach a verdict.

Gul and Dundar were sentenced to five years imprisonment after being found guilty of revealing state secrets.

The charges were connected to a report they published in 2015 about alleged arms shipments from Turkey to Syria.

Both actions against them centred on a Cumhuriyet article that reported it had evidence that Turkey’s secret service had arranged in early 2014 for weapons shipments across the border.

Report says the shipment is to aid Islamist rebels fighting to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Although Ankara has repeatedly called for al-Assad’s removal, it denies arming rebel fighters.

Turkey ranks 161 out of 180 countries in the Reporters without Borders Press Freedom Index. (dpa/NAN)


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