Turkish trial against opposition newspaper resumes

Sixth hearing in Cumhuriyet 'terrorism' case

09 March, 12:44

    ISTANBUL - A trial against journalists and directors of the secular opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet resumed on Friday morning in the Silivri jail in Istanbul. The case has become one of the symbols of threats to freedom of the press in Turkey. Some 19 people stand accused of terrorism, including some of the most well-known journalists in the country such as former editor-in-chief Can Dundar - who has sought refuge in Germany and is being tried in absentia - and his successor at the head of the newspaper, Murat Sabuncu, who has been detained for 495 days. Also on trial is the chairman of the newspaper's borad, Akin Atalay, and the investigative jounrlaist Ahmet Sik, who has been in jail for 434 days. The defendants are accused of links with the network under imam-in-exile Fethullah Gulan, allegedly behind a failed coup in July 2016, the Kurdish PKK or the far-left DHKP/C, all of which are considered terrorist groups. Another ruling is expected in this sixth hearing on whether the accused will continue to be held in jail as a preventative measure or not. According to the Platform for Independent Journalism (P24), a civil society organization founded by members of the Turkish press, a total of 155 journalists are currently detained in Turkish jails, more than in any otehr country in the world.

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