Istanbul court refuses to release two prominent journalists
A man stays in front of a poster of Can Dündar (L), Cumhuriyet Daily's editor in chief, and Erdem Gül (R), the newspaper's Ankara bureau chief, at the newspapers headquarters on November 27, 2015 in Istanbul during a demonstration after the arrest of the Editor in Chief. AFP PhotoAn Istanbul court rejected on Dec. 11 an appeal for the release of prominent journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, who jailed pending trial on charges of “aiding terrorist organizations.”
The Istanbul 7th Court of Peace refused to release Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Dündar and Ankara bureau chief Gül on the grounds that “there is no new evidence to justify terminating [their] detention.”
The two journalists’ lawyers submitted the appeal to the court Dec. 7.
Dündar and Gül were arrested on Nov. 26 on charges of aiding an armed terrorist organization and committing political or military espionage over reports in Cumhuriyet on the interception of trucks belonging to the National Intelligence Organization (MİT). The articles claimed that the trucks intercepted in January 2014 were shipping weapons to jihadist groups fighting across the border in Syria.
The imprisonment of Dündar and Gül created an outcry inside and outside Turkey, with leading international press organizations submitting an alert on the state of freedom of media in Turkey to the Council of Europe on Nov. 26.