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.
Ahmet Altan, former editor-in-chief of Taraf newspaper, his brother, journalist and academic Mehmet Altan, and prominent journalist Nazli Ilicak were among those jailed today.
Deniz Yucel, a correspondent for German daily Die Welt, was also detained as part of a Turkish government clampdown on civil society in the wake of a failed coup attempt in 2016.
Ahmet Altan, left, and his brother Mehmet Altan, right, were among those who were jailed for life in Turkey today
He was today released pending trial, but could face up to 18 years in prison on terrorism and propaganda charges.
The journalists were accused of links to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for the failed coup on July 15 in 2016. Mr Gulen denies the accusation.
The defendants were charged with attempts against Turkey’s constitution and membership of a terror organisation.
State-run Anadolu reported that the Altans were detained after being accused of spreading ‘subliminal messages announcing a military coup’ during a TV interview on July 14 in 2016.
More than 2,800 rebels have been detained after their failed military coup that killed at least 250 in 2016
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (pictured) vowed revenge after the plot to overthrow his government in 2016
A total of 250 people were killed as the military attempted to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
More than 2,500 rebels were detained as the president swore revenge over the uprising, which left at least 1,500 injured.
Mr Gulen, Erdogan’s long-standing rival, lives in self-imposed exile in Pennsylvania, where he heads up a billion dollar religious movement.
At least 1,500 were wounded in the failed uprising against Erdogan’s government, which was blamed on an Islamic scholar based in the United States
German journalist Deniz Yucel set to be released from Turkish prison
Journalist Deniz Yucel, a German correspondent for Die Welt, will be released from prison after being detained for a year.
He could still face up to 18 years in prison if convicted, Anadolu news agency reported today.
Yucel, who has both German and Turkish citizenship, was arrested in Istanbul on February 14 on terrorism and propaganda charges that he denies.
Deniz Yucel, pictured, could still face up to 18 years in prison if he is convicted on terror and propaganda charges
His high-profile case and that of six other German citizens held in Turkey for what Germany considers political reasons have badly soured relations between the two countries.
A court ruled Yucel should be set free pending a trial, after approving a prosecutor’s indictment seeking up to 18 years in prison for the journalist.
Prosecutors were reportedly charging Yucel with ‘engaging in terrorist propaganda’ and ‘inciting public hatred and enmity’, seeking a minimum of four years.
His lawyer has met twice with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over the past year.
The issue also came up at a meeting Thursday between Turkey’s prime minister, Binali Yildirim, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Yildirim stated.he hoped a court hearing for the 44-year-old would ‘take place in a short period of time’.
Merkel’s spokeswoman, Ulrike Demmer, declined to say whether an agreement was struck during Yildirim’s visit to Berlin.
‘This is a first, important step that we have all worked on for a long time,’ she said.
German officials rejected the notion that Yucel’s released might have come about as a result of an arms deal between Germany and Turkey.
‘There can be no talk of any dirty deals or side agreements,’ Rainer Breul, a spokesman for Germany’s foreign ministry, told reporters in Berlin.