The İstanbul 35th High Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced veteran journalist Mehmet Gündem to six years, 10 months, 15 days on charges of membership in the Gülen movement, releasing him pending appeal after 21 months of incarceration.
Gündem was accused of working for the Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF), a Gülen-affiliated nongovernmental organization shut down by the Turkish government after a 2016 coup attempt.
Dozens of journalists were arrested over Gülen links following the abortive putsch. Turkey, where more than 150 journalists and media workers are currently jailed, was ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released in April by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).
The most recent figures documented by SCF show that 182 journalists and media workers were in jail as of July 5, 2019. Of those in prison 87 were under arrest pending trial while 96 journalists have been convicted and are serving their time. Detention warrants are outstanding for 167 journalists who are living in exile or remain at large in Turkey. (SCF with turkishminute.com)