Indictment seeks aggravated life terms for novelist Aslı Erdoğan, linguist Necmiye Alpay in Özgür Gündem probe
ISTANBULAn indictment prepared by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office has demanded aggravated life sentences for a total of nine suspects, including novelist Aslı Erdoğan and linguist Necmiye Alpay, on terror charges as part of an investigation into columnists and managers of closed daily Özgür Gündem.
Erdoğan and Alpay, who have been among four under arrest since August for allegedly engaging in propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), are accused of being a member of an armed terror organization, disrupting the unity of the state and conducting terror propaganda along with the daily’s grant holder Kemal Sancılı, managing editor İnan Kızılkaya, Zana (Bilir) Kaya, former Co-Editor-in-Chief Eren Keskin, Filiz Koçali, Ragıp Zarakolu and Bilge Akut.
The 32-page indictment separately demanded aggravated life sentences and prison terms ranging from six-and-a-half years to 17.5 years for the suspects.
According to the indictment, Özgür Gündem’s editorial policy aimed at changing the republic’s characteristics and its political, judicial, social and economic order, disrupting the unity of the nation, jeopardizing the republic’s entity and seizing the authority of the state.
It also said the daily had made terror propaganda by publishing a number of PKK/KCK figures’ opinions and the organization’s statements and that it tried to legitimize attacks by the PKK.
In addition, the daily’s women’s supplement, Binevş, also “abused” women and children by publishing pictures of PKK militants in camouflage, the indictment claimed.
The indictment was sent to the Istanbul high criminal court which will either approve or reject it within 15 days.