Novelist Erdoğan, linguist Alpay arrested over Özgür Gündem probe to remain in prison
An Istanbul court on Nov. 23 ordered the release of imprisoned novelist Aslı Erdoğan and linguist Necmiye Alpay, who were both arrested on terror charges as part of an investigation into closed daily Özgür Gündem, on one charge but ruled for the continuation of their arrest on another charge.
The Istanbul 23rd High Criminal Court accepted an indictment on Nov. 11, ordering the release of Erdoğan and Alpay on charges of disrupting the unity of the state over lack of evidence.
However, it ordered the continuation of the duo’s arrest on charges of being a member of a terror organization.
The court also ruled for the continuation of arrests of the daily’s managing editor, İnan Kızılkaya, and editor-in-chief, Zana (Bilir) Kaya.
The trial of the case will be held on Dec. 29.
The 32-page indictment has demanded aggravated life sentences for a total of nine suspects, including Erdoğan and Alpay, as well as prison terms ranging from six-and-a-half to 17.5 years for the suspects on charges of being a member of an armed terror organization, disrupting the unity of the state and conducting terror propaganda.
A member of Özgür Gündem’s advisory board, Erdoğan was arrested on Aug. 19 on charges of being a member of armed terror organization after a court ordered it closed for allegedly engaging in propaganda for the PKK.
Alpay, meanwhile, was arrested on Aug. 31 on charges of being a member of a terror organization.
Özgür Gündem was shut down on Aug. 16 for allegedly conducting propaganda on behalf of the PKK and acting as the organization’s media organ.