Cumhuriyet journalists may be tried without arrest: PM

Cumhuriyet journalists may be tried without arrest: PM

Cumhuriyet journalists may be tried without arrest: PM

Journalists with chained hands protest against the jailing of opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper's editor-in-chief Can Dündar and Ankara representative Erdem Gül, in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Nov. 27, 2015. AP Photo

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said two prominent journalists, daily Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar and Ankara Bureau Chief Erdem Gül, may be tried without arrest, daily Hürriyet has reported.

“A trial [of Dündar and Gül] without arrest can be thought of as more convenient,” the premier told a group of reporters in Turkish parliament in Ankara on Nov. 28, adding that the decision to try Dündar and Gül without arrest did not depend on their initiative, but on the country’s independent judiciary.

Davutoğlu added the government was closely watching the case and the matter was a legal process.

The statement came after Dündar and Gül were sent to Silivri Prison late Nov. 26 after an Istanbul court ordered their arrest on the publication of footage purporting to show the state intelligence agency helping send weapons to Syria.

Footage released by Cumhuriyet on May 29 showed gendarmerie and police officers opening crates in the backs of trucks which contained what the daily described as weapons and ammunition sent by the intelligence service to fighters in Syria in January 2014.

In the aftermath, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said those that published the story “would pay a heavy price” while reiterating that the goods were destined for Turkmens in Syria.