Turkish court gives prison sentences to BirGün daily’s editor Gültekin and owner Aydın

Birgün daily's managing editor Berkant Gültekin (L) and the owner of the daily İbrahim Aydın.

Journalist Berkant Gültekin, a managing editor of leftist Turkish daily BirGün, and İbrahim Aydın, the owner of the paper, were sentenced to 21 months in prison with charge of  “insulting the President Erdoğan” according to Article 299 of the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK) because of a report criticizing the education system in Turkey.

Gültekin and Aydın were submitted themselves to Kırklareli Prison for the execution of their prison sentence. According to a report by BirGün daily, the two journalists are expected to be released after completion of necessary procedures in the prison since the period of release on probation has been increased to two years.

It was reported that this was the 120th lawsuit brought against BirGün daily for similar reasons in recent years.

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.

May 30, 2017

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