Jailed Turkish journalist Mehmet Altan denies allegations of Gülen links
ISTANBULJailed journalist and former economics professor Mehmet Altan denied allegations against him in a court hearing on June 21 in the case into the alleged “media leg” of what prosecutors call the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), believed to be behind the July 15, 2016, coup attempt.
Altan argued in his defense that all the charges against him noted in the indictment were “freedoms under constitutional guarantee” and that he was being “tried for his thoughts.”
Altan was arrested in the wake of last year’s failed coup attempt and faces charges of “attempting to remove the constitutional order” and “committing a crime on behalf of an armed terrorist group without being a member of it.”
He is one of the 17 journalists who are being tried in the same case. He appeared before a judge in Istanbul’s Çağlayan Courthouse for the first time on June 21 in the case’s third hearing.
Altan, accused of sending “subliminal messages” to the coup plotters, said: “If [Jean-Jacques] Rousseau had said what he had written 254 years ago today, he would be accused of ‘with no doubt he knows about the coup, he is giving subliminal messages.’”
“I am aware that I stand here for not applauding the massacre of democracy. What I have been through from the day I was detained to today is obviously a false imprisonment,” he added.
In an indictment prepared by the Istanbul Terror and Organized Crime Investigation Bureau into the 17 suspects in April, a prosecutor sought three aggravated life sentences and up to 15 years of prison for Altan for “attempting to prevent the Turkish parliament from carrying out its duties or completely abolish it” and “attempting to remove the government of the Turkish Republic or prevent it from carrying out its duties.”