Jailed journalist Hidayet Karaca and Zaman newspaper’s former owner Aladdin Kaya were sentenced to life in prison on Friday.
The Ankara 4th High Criminal Court gave aggravated life sentences to four out of seven jailed defendants on charges of “attempted violation of the constitution” immediately before a controversial coup attempt on July 15, 2016 in a case that was filed against 75 defendants who are accused of links to the Gülen movement.
Among the defendants are Hidayet Karaca, who was president of the now-closed Samanyolu Broadcasting Group; Alaattin Kaya, former owner of the now-closed Zaman daily; İlhan İşbilen, a former deputy of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) and former general director of Zaman; and Kazım Avcı, a cousin of US-based Turkish Muslim scholar Fethullah Gülen.
The court also sentenced Fethullah Gülen’s lawyers Abdülkadir Aksoy and Ali Çelik and businessman Dilaver Azim to 10 years, six months in prison on charges of “membership in an armed terrorist organisation.”
The court also decided to drop the case against Cemal Uşak, who passed away on August 25, 2016 in exile. It also separated the files of Fetullah Gülen and Adil Öksüz, the main suspect of carrying out the coup bid. The file of Zaman daily’s former editor-in-chief Ekrem Dumanlı was also seperated from the case.