Turkish Constitutional Court Orders Release Of 2 Journalists

Lester Mason
January 13, 2018

Yesterday, the court ruled in favor of releasing the two journalists, Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay, jailed for more than year over the July 2016 attempted coup, but hours later penal courts chose to keep them in detention, state media said.

Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday that jailed journalists Mehmet Altan and Şahin Alpay be released, saying their rights have been violated.

Both Altan and Alpay have been accused of "links to terrorist groups" and "attempting to overthrow the government", charges they have denied.

Both men, as well as Cumhuriyet journalist Turhan Gunay - who had been released earlier had submitted complaints to the court that their basic rights and press freedom had been infringed upon.

The İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court has reportdely refused to comply with the Constitutional Court on a recent release judgement for 73-year-old columnist Şahin Alpay. The crackdown on democratic institutions has earned a rebuke from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the European Union, which warned that Turkey was undermining its prospects of joining the bloc.

Altan and Alpay were charged with "constituting the media force" of an organization led by US -based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Turkey holds responsible for the coup attempt.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said on Friday the case of two journalists would be decided by a local court. The pair worked for newspapers shut down after the coup.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article