Turkey’s top court to reconsider arrest of Dündar, Gül

Turkey’s top court to reconsider arrest of Dündar, Gül

Turkey’s top court to reconsider arrest of Dündar, Gül

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Individual applications by jailed Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dündar and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gül have been directed to the general assembly of Turkey’s Constitutional Court, with demands that the two men be tried without arrest.  

The applications state that the rights of Dündar and Gül were abused and the earlier decision on their arrest lacked sufficient justification. 

The two journalists are accused of espionage threatening state security and supporting an armed terrorist organization, due to stories published in daily Cumhuriyet about Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MİT) trucks allegedly filled with weapons and bound for Syria. The duo was arrested by an Istanbul court on Nov. 27 last year, triggering reactions from press organizations, NGOs and many western countries. 

Constitutional Court Chairman Zühtü Arslan will now decide when the application will be taken onto the court’s agenda. 

One of the court’s rapporteurs has reportedly told the court that “it should be ruled that rights of Gül and Erdem were abused.”

Repeating the statements in the two journalists’ applications, it said “Dündar and Gül were involved in journalism activity” and added that the issue related to “press and individual freedom and security rights.” 

“The decision should be sent to the Istanbul 14th Heavy Penalty court to remove the abuse,” the rapporteur stated, describing the arrest decision as “not lawful.”