Istanbul prosecutor seeks up to 15 years in jail for five Sözcü journalists

Istanbul prosecutor seeks up to 15 years in jail for five Sözcü journalists

ISTANBUL
Istanbul prosecutor seeks up to 15 years in jail for five Sözcü journalists

Emin Çölaşan

An Istanbul prosecutor has sought jail times up to 15 years for five employees of Sözcü, a daily critical of the government, including two well-known columnists, an indictment into FETÖ showed on Dec. 10.

The indictment accuses veteran columnists Emin Çölaşan and Necati Doğru, along with editor-in-chief Metin Yılmaz, online news coordinator Yücel Arı and online deputy chief editor Mustafa Çetin of “aiding the armed terrorist organization FETÖ without being a part of its hierarchical structure.”

The prosecutor’s office dropped a separate probe into five other suspects, including Sözcü columnists Uğur Dündar and Saygı Öztürk.

Istanbul’s 37th Heavy Penalty Court admitted the indictment, which seeks jail times from 7.5 to 15 years for the suspects.

The same court is trying four others from Sözcü, including owner Burak Akbay who faces 30 years in jail over terrorism charges. In May, it extended an arrest warrant for Akbay, extending the travel bans on reporter Gökmen Ulu and former managing internet news editor Mediha Olgun.

The first hearing of the latest case will be held on Jan. 18, 2019.

Number of jailed journalists increased five-fold in three years: CHP MP
Number of jailed journalists increased five-fold in three years: CHP MP

sözcü, press freedom, Turkey, Emin Çölaşan, Necati Doğru, prosecution