Lawyers appeal arrest of Turkish daily Sözcü journalists

Lawyers appeal arrest of Turkish daily Sözcü journalists

Lawyers appeal arrest of Turkish daily Sözcü journalists

AP photo

Two lawyers for the opposition Turkish daily newspaper Sözcü on June 2 appealed to a higher court over the arrest of two journalists as part of the investigation into the July 2016 failed coup attempt, Doğan News Agency has reported.

Laywers Celal Ülgen and İsmail Yılmaz stated in their 26-page petition that the arrest of Sözcü online editor Mediha Olgun and İzmir reporter Bekir Gökmen Ulu over a report detailing President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s holiday in the Aegean resort of Marmaris ahead of the coup attempt was not legally correct as the duo faced “absurd and illogical accusations” without any concrete evidence.

The lawyers demanded the release of the journalists, who are currently in jail.

Police detained Ulu and Olgun on May 19 after the Istanbul Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a detention warrant on the daily staff, including its license holder Burak Akbay.

They were later arrested on May 26 on charges of “committing crimes on behalf of the movement of the U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen without being members of it” and “facilitating the physical assault and assassination of the president.” 

Sözcü’s finance manager Yonca Yücekaleli, meanwhile, was released.

An arrest warrant for Akbay was also issued over “being a member of an armed terrorist organization,” but he remains abroad.