Turkey: Five Former Cumhuriyet Journalists Go Out of Prison
A Turkish appeals court has ordered the release of five ex-journalists from the main opposition daily Cumhuriyet, who have been sentenced to prison after a lawsuit decried by defenders.
Five former journalists from Turkey's leading opposition daily, Cumhuriyet, will be released from prison after a Turkish appeals court decision on Thursday (September 12th).
Among the journalists to be released include the famous cartoonist Musa Kart. Their release is expected "Wednesday night", according to their lawyer Tora Pekin.
A court case
They were part of a group of 14 Cumhuriyet employees who were sentenced to prison in 2018 and who had their appeals rejected by another court.
They were found guilty of supporting by their writings three organizations classified as "terrorists" by Turkey, including the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the network of the preacher Fethullah Gülen, to whom Ankara blames the responsibility for the failed coup in July. 2016.
The trial of Cumhuriyet's collaborators has become emblematic of the erosion of press freedom in Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. It ranks 157th out of 180 countries in the 2018 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.
In addition to this trial, Cumhuriyet went through a difficult transition last year with a sudden change in the management team. In protest, dozens of journalists, most of whom were sentenced at the trial, resigned.