An İstanbul court on Tuesday ruled for continuation of the imprisonment of 20 Turkish journalists over their alleged links to the Gülen group, which is accused by Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) of being behind a failed coup last year.
According to the decision by the İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court, all 20 journalists who were put in pre-trial detention after the failed coup in July 2016, will remain behind bars until the next hearing, which was scheduled to be held on Feb. 6, 2018.
On Oct. 24 the court released Atilla Taş, a former singer and a columnist for the now-closed Meydan daily, as well as Murat Aksoy, a former columnist for the now-closed Bugün daily.
There are now 20 jailed journalists in the trial of members of media outlets that were closed by the government over alleged links to the group.
The suspects are mainly from now-closed Zaman, Meydan and Bugün dailies and are accused of supporting the Gülen group by having accounts with Bank Asya and using the ByLock mobile phone application, both considered by Turkish authorities to be evidence of links to the group.
Bank Asya, once Turkey’s largest Islamic bank, was seized and later closed down by a government decision following the failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016.
ByLock is a smartphone application that Turkish authorities believe is widely used by Gülenists as a communication tool.