The 14 journalists and other senior staff members from the “Cumhuriyet” newspaper were convicted for “sponsoring terror organisations,” including the network of US-based cleric Fetullah Gulen.
An Istanbul court on Wednesday sentenced 14 journalists from Cumhuriyet daily to various prison terms over terrorism-related charges.
Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, CEO Akin Atalay, and Orhan Erinc, plus journalists Ahmet Sik, Aydin Engin, and Hikmet Cetinkaya, got prison terms of six to eight years on charges of acting on behalf of a terrorist group without being members.
Atalay, however, was released in light of his time already served.
Eight journalists – Bulent Utku, Kadri Gursel, Guray Tekin Oz, Haci Musa Kart, Hakan Karasinir, Mustafa Kemal Gungor, Onder Celik, and Yusuf Emre Iper – were given up to four years in prison on the same charges.
At the first hearing in the case in July 2016, the suspects were indicted for sponsoring the PKK, Fetullah Terror Organisation (FETO), and DHKP-C.
The court also sentenced Twitter user Ahmet Kemal Aydogdu, who used the handle @JeansBiri, to 10 years in prison.
Aydogdu was detained in October 2016 on charges of spreading disinformation through the internet.
Aydogdu, said to be a teacher at a local school, was charged with being a member of a terrorist group. During the course of their investigation, authorities also found a large sum of money at his home.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the EU.
FETO is responsible for the July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt which left 249 people dead, and more than 2,000 injured. The terror group is also accused of a years-long infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.