Turkish court frees veteran journalists Altan, Ilıcak after conviction on terrorism charges

Veteran journalists Ahmet Altan (L) and Nazlı Ilıcak.

The İstanbul 26th High Criminal Court on Monday released veteran journalists Ahmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak pending appeal after convicting them of aiding a terrorist organization, Turkish media reported.

The court has acquitted Mehmet Altan, another prominent journalist, of the same charges.

Ahmet Altan, who has been in jail since 2016, received a 10-year, six-month sentence, while Ilıcak got eight years, nine months in prison.

The court also handed down lengthy prison sentences to Fevzi Yazıcı, Yakup Şimşek and Tuğrul Özşengül, ruling to keep them in prison.

Turkey accuses the Gülen movement of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt, although it strongly denies any involvement.

The prosecutor indicted the defendants for aiding the movement in its alleged efforts to topple the Turkish government.

A Turkish court had previously sentenced the defendants to life, a ruling that was overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeals. (turkishminute.com)

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