Journalist Mehmet Gundem, under arrest pending trial on accusation of membership to the Gulen movement, has said he was denied request to attend his father’s funeral.

Arrested and put in an Istanbul prison in Nov 2017, Gundem appeared before the court for the first time after 9 months behind bars on Aug 14.

Gundem said his father passed away while he was in jail.

“Required permissions were not granted and I failed to make it to the funeral. It has been a long 9-month. My imprisonment has gone beyond not only a measure but also punishment. I want to bring this to your attention,” he said.

Asked about his interview with Fethullah Gulen, Gundem said: “I am a journalist with 23 years of experience. I started working as a journalist in 1995. My duty has been doing weekly interviews. Every newspaper employs an interviewer. I was at this position at Zaman for 7 years. I am known for this in the public. I did an interview with Fethullah Gulen in the US at the request of my employer in 2005, Milliyet. I also worked as an executive at Yeni Safak daily.”

The court overseeing his case turned down Gundem’s request to release and ordered him to remain in prison until the second hearing, scheduled for Oct 30, 2018.