A court in Istanbul on Monday ruled to continue the pretrial detention of 17 staff members from Turkey’s leading opposition newspaper the Cumhuriyet Daily#.
They were arrested in November and December 2016 and charged with aiding terror organisations after last July’s failed coup against President Erdogan
A protest was held outside the court and was attended by Christophe Deloire, Secretary-General of Reporters Without Borders:
“Unfortunately, the situation is worse and worse, month after month and Erdogan succeeded to suppress pluralism and free press in this country.”
MP’s from the main opposition CHP party made a statement outside the court waving copies of the newspaper.
Cumhuriyet Newspaper Ankara Representative Erdem Gül was critical of the Turkish government’s policy towards free speech:
“Turkey holds a record, a record of imprisoned journalists, 170 journalists. Everyone who is not with the government is a terrorist in Turkey. They can accuse you of being in any terror organization. But it is journalism, freedom of thought and expression that are on trial.”
RSF_EECA (@RSF_EECA) September 11, 2017
Prosecutors are seeking up to 43 years in jail for the paper’s staff, including some of Turkey’s best-known journalists.