Istanbul court sentences seven journalists from Sözcü newspaper for aiding FETÖ
The veteran columnists Emin Çölaşan were sentenced to three years and six months in prison
A court in İstanbul on Dec. 27 gave seven journalists from Sözcü newspaper prison sentences for aiding FETÖ, the group which orchestrated the July 15, 2016 defeated coup attempt.
The veteran columnists Emin Çölaşan and Necati Doğru were sentenced to three years and six months in prison, while the court ordered that Burak Akbay, the owner of the newspaper, be tried separately because he was abroad.
In May 2019, the court extended an arrest warrant for Akbay.
Online deputy chief editor Mustafa Çetin and editor-in-chief Metin Yılmaz were sentenced to three years and four months in prison.
Online news coordinator Yücel Arı, reporter Gökmen Ulu and finance director Yonca Yücekaleli were sentenced to two years and one month in prison, while former managing internet news Mediha Olgun was acquitted.
The indictment accused Çölaşan and Doğru, along with Yılmaz, Arı, Çetin of “aiding the armed terrorist organization FETÖ without being a part of its hierarchical structure.”
Speaking about the prison sentences given to the executives and writers of Sözcü newspaper, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said that the decision was given by the order of the political authority.
"What makes me sad is that we announced with this decision to the whole world that there is no justice and no democracy in the Republic of Turkey," he said.
"Which country, conscience or justice institution will say that this decision is right? You start to lose from the moment you fear the media for writing the facts. Erdoğan and his entourage entered into this process," Kılıçdaroğlu added.