Life terms sought for Zaman journalists
An Istanbul prosecutor has demanded aggravated life sentences for nine suspects in a case concerning former journalists and employees at daily Zaman, which had been closed for its links to the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ).
According to the prosecutor’s legal opinion, the nine suspects, including Mümtazer Türköne, Ali Bulaç, and Şahin Alpay, had “violated the constitution.”
In addition, the prosecutor demanded up to 15 years for each nine suspect on charges of “being a member of an armed organization.”
Other defendants for whom the same sentence was demanded include former Zaman employees İbrahim Karayeğen, Mehmet Özdemir, Mustafa Ünal, Ahmet Turan Alkan, İhsan Duran Dağı and Orhan Kemal Cengiz.
For other 20 defendants, the prosecutor demanded jail sentences between seven and 15 years at the hearing, which took place at the Istanbul 13rd Heavy Penal Court yesterday. Those charges include “membership of an armed organization” and “aiding the organization without being a member.”
Zaman was closed down by the state in May 2016 after being taken over.
The prosecutor said at the first hearing of the case that FETÖ had “used the media as a weapon” to “manipulate society,” adding that Zaman employed “columnists with ideas that could have supported the organization.”
On March 20, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that the right to liberty and the right freedom of expression of Şahin Alpay had been violated.
On March 16, an Istanbul court ordered the conditional release of Alpay, while ruling that Alpay must remain in his house and is forbidden from leaving Turkey.