Officials arrested the journalists last July after a failed coup.
We at Legal Insurrection have covered the atrocities in Turkey, which include crackdowns by those whom President Recep Tayyip Erdogan deem a threat to his authority.
Last July, Erdogan blamed a failed “coup” on his nemesis Fethullah Gülen. He went on a rampage and arrested anyone he considered an ally of Gülen, including numerous journalists.
A year later, 17 of these journalists will stand trial on Monday.
From Hürriyet Daily News:
Some 17 suspects, including jailed journalists Nazlı Ilıcak, Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan, will appear before an Istanbul court on June 18 for the first time in a case into the media leg of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), which is widely believed to have perpetrated the July 15, 2016, failed coup.
In an indictment prepared by the Istanbul Terror and Organized Crime Investigation Bureau into the 17 suspects in April, a prosecutor sought three aggravated life sentences and up to 15 years of prison for each Ilıcak and the Altan brothers for “attempting to prevent the Turkish parliament from carrying out its duties or completely abolish it” and “attempting to remove the government of the Turkish Republic or prevent it from carrying out its duties.”
The trio also faces charges of “attempting to remove the constitutional order” and “committing a crime on behalf of an armed terrorist group without being a member of it.”
The prosecutor wants “aggravated life sentences” and 22.5 years for journalists Ekrem Dumanlı, Tuncay Opçin, and Emre Uslu for allegedly “committing a crime on behalf of an armed terrorist group without being a member of it” and “managing an armed terrorist organization.”
Officials included columns by Altan because those writings allegedly “prepare the public for a coup attempt by branding the president of the Turkish Republic as a dictator and saying that he will fall from power in a short period of time.”
Altan’s phone records supposedly show he communicated with imams connected to Gülen.
— Tr724 (@tr724com) June 18, 2017
Translation: Altan brothers, Ilıcak will face a judge for the first time in 10 months.
Almost 3,000 journalists have lost their jobs in Turkey as officials closed 130 media outlets.
Ahmet Altan wrote columns for newspapers Hürriyet, Milliyet, and Radikal. Milliyet fired him when he wrote a column about a different history of Turkey. He faced charges in 2008 after he wrote an article called “Oh, My Brother” for the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
Economics Professor Mehmet Altan, Ahmet’s brother, edited the Star publication until 2012. He agrees with his brother and has even recognized the Armenian Genocide.
Nazlı Ilıcak first faced persecution in 2014 when she and other journalists lost their jobs for criticizing the government. This did not stop her. Until her arrest last year, Ilıcak continued to write anti-government pieces and defended Gülen.
Ekrem Dumanlı worked as the editor-in-chief of Today’s Zaman. He also faced persecution in 2014 with Ilıcak. After his release, he wrote an op-ed for The Washington Post where he criticized Erdogan’s war on the press.