An indictment prepared by an İstanbul prosecutor seeks a jail sentence of from 7,5 to 15 years for 13 Cumhuriyet journalists and executives due to their alleged links to the Gülen group, which the Turkish government blames for a failed coup in 2016.
According to the Cumhuriyet daily, the suspects mentioned in the indictment are Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, the daily’s chief executive officer Akın Atalay, editorial consultant Kadri Gürsel, member representative Güray Öz, cartoonist Musa Kart, publisher Orhan Erinç, lawyers Bülent Utku and Mustafa Kemal Güngör, columnists Aydın Engin and Hikmet Çetinkaya, hakan Kara, reporter Ahmet Şık, Önder Çelik.
The charges brought against the Cumhuriyet employees accuse them of aiding the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) and the Gülen group, which is accused by Turkish authorities of being behind a failed coup last year.
On Sept. 26, the court ruled for the release of Cumhuriyet daily journalist Kadri Gürsel.
Earlier in July, the court released Güray Öz, Musa Kart, Bülent Utku, Hakan Kara, Önder Çelik, Turhan Günay and Mustafa Kemal Güngör.
Arrest warrants for Cumhuriyet’s former Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar and US-based journalist İlhan Tanır are still outstanding.
The suspects were arrested by the İstanbul 9th Penal Court of Peace on Nov. 5, 2016. Atalay was detained at İstanbul Atatürk Airport upon his return from Germany and subsequently arrested on Nov. 12, 2016.
Cumhuriyet reporter Şık was also detained on Dec. 22 and arrested on Dec. 30, 2016 on charges of disseminating terrorist propaganda.