US 'concerned' over Can Dündar, Erdem Gül convictions

US 'concerned' over Can Dündar, Erdem Gül convictions

US concerned over Can Dündar, Erdem Gül convictions

John Kirby. DHA photo

The United States has criticized the conviction of Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar and the daily’s Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gül, who were sentenced to jail time for revealing state secrets.

“The United States is concerned by the guilty verdicts issued today in the trial of Cumhuriyet Editor Can Dundar and Ankara Bureau Chief Erdem Gul, who were convicted of leaking state secrets stemming from their journalistic work,” U.S. State Department Spokesman John Kirby said in a press statement on May 7. 

“We reiterate that the United States supports freedom of expression, and we call on the Turkish authorities to support an independent and unfettered media, which is an essential element of any democratic, open society,” Kirby said.

Washington also urged Turkey to abide by the principles of democracy.

“As Turkey’s friend and NATO Ally, we again urge Turkey to abide by its constitutional and OSCE commitments to fundamental principles of democracy, including due process, judicial independence, and freedom of expression,” said Kirby.

“These principles are key elements of every healthy democracy and are enshrined in the Turkish constitution.”

An Istanbul court sentenced Dündar and Gül to five years in prison for “leaking state secrets” on May 6, hours after Dündar escaped unharmed from an armed attack in front of Istanbul’s Çağlayan courthouse.