10.5-year jail sentence sought for Cumhuriyet editor due to news headline

Journalist Oğuz Güven.

A prosecutor is seeking a jail sentence of up to 10.5 years for Cumhuriyet daily’s website editor Oğuz Güven, who has been behind bars since May 15, on terror charges due to the headline of a story on the daily’s website.

Güven is being accused of making the propaganda of a terrorist organization and printing or publishing the reports of terror organizations.

Güven was detained on May 12 due to a report that appeared on the website of the daily about the traffic death of a public prosecutor, Mustafa Alper, in the western province of Denizli.

Cumhuriyet’s Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu was in early November arrested along with eight other Cumhuriyet columnists and executives for allegedly committing crimes on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15.

Meanwhile, former Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar earlier moved to Germany after Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan personally targeted him for a sensational report in Cumhuriyet about alleged illegal arms deliveries by Turkey to opposition groups in Syria.

Turkey is the leading jailer of journalists in the world. The Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented that 264 journalists are now in jails as of May 27, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 241 are arrested pending trial, only 23 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 105 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the coup attempt. (SCF with turkishminute.com) June 9, 2017

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