A total of six journalists and one other employee of Sözcü daily, a government-critical newspaper, have been  convicted of “aiding the network of Turkey’s Gülen movement, which is accused of masterminding a failed coup in 2016.

The movement denies any involvement in the atempt.

Emin Çölaşan and Necati Doğru, two veteran Turkish columnists, were sentenced to three years, six months in prison.

The paper’s chief editor Metin Yılmaz and its online edition’s managing editor, Mustafa Çetin, have been given three years and four months in prison.

The daily’s online news editor, Yücel Arı, financial manager Yonca Yücelan and journalist Gökmen Ulu were sentenced to two-year, one month prison terms.

The Sözcü daily workers and journalists are accused of publishing reports raising concerns about the injustices that Gülen movement followers have been subjected to.

Çölaşan and Doğru wrote several columns that included letters from Turkish prisoners who were jailed for alleged membership in the Gülen movement.

Turkey accuses the movement of orchestrating a 2016 coup attempt, although it strongly denies any involvement. Since then over 500,000 people have been subjected to prosecution over Gülen links.