Turkey prosecutors seek life terms for two anti-Erdogan journalists
The two journalists were charged for revealing a report stating Turkey's Erdogan tried to ship arms to Islamists in Syria
Turkish prosecutors demanded life sentences for two top journalists from the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper on charges of revealing state secrets with a report that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government tried to ship arms to Islamists in Syria, a report said Wednesday.
Prosecutors asked the Istanbul court to sentence editor-in-chief Can Dundar and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul each to one aggravated life sentence, one ordinary life sentence and 30 years in jail, the Dogan news agency reported, quoting the indictment.
The report said that both Erdogan and his hugely powerful but low-profile ally, the head of the National Intelligence Organisation (MIT) Hakan Fidan, are named as plaintiffs in the indictment.
Dundar and Gul were both placed under arrest in late November over the report earlier in the year that claimed to show proof that a consignment of weapons seized at the border in January 2014 was bound for Islamist rebels in Syria.
Since then, they have both been held in the Silivri jail on the outskirts of Istanbul ahead of their trial, whose date has still yet to be announced.
In the indictment, they have been formally charged with obtaining and revealing state secrets “for espionage purposes” and seeking to “violently” overthrow the Turkish government as well as aiding an “armed terrorist organization”, it said.
The penalties demanded by the prosecutors are significantly higher than had previously been expected.
The case has amplified concerns about press freedom under the rule of Erdogan, who had personally warned Dundar he would “pay a price” over the front-page story.
- Rumors and wrangling over a Russian base near Turkey
- EU confident Turkey to get 3 bn Euro refugee aid despite delay
- Biden and Erdogan aim to ramp up ISIS fight
- Turkey detains 23 ISIS suspects and 21 children on Syria border: Army
- Biden: PKK is terror group ‘plain and simple,’ threat to Turkey like ISIS
- Turkish PM Davutoglu says Turkey respects Iraq's territorial integrity
- Rocket fire from Syria ‘wounds two’ in Turkey: reports
- U.S.: Turkey can do more to fight ISIS