US welcomes release of Turkish journalists

US welcomes release of Turkish journalists

US welcomes release of Turkish journalists

DHA photo

The United States has welcomed the recent Turkish Constitutional Court ruling that led to the pre-trial release of journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, who had been under arrest over their report on intelligence trucks allegedly carrying weapons to Syria.

“We welcomed, frankly, the court ruling that ended their pre-trial imprisonment of these two,” U.S. State Department Spokesperson Mark Toner said at a press conference on March 2.

Toner had been asked to comment on the release of daily Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Dündar and Ankara bureau chief Gül following the Constitutional Court ruling. 

“We’re going to continue to follow their case closely. This is a core issue for us, freedom of the press, and we believe it’s a core value for Turks, for Turkish society, for Turkish democracy. It is, in fact, enshrined in the Turkish constitution,” Toner added. 

Dündar and Gül, who were arrested on Nov. 26, 2015 on terrorism charges over the May 2015 news report, served in prison for more than 90 days under pre-trial arrest. The trucks owned by Turkey’s National Inteligence Agency (MİT) were stopped and searched in the southern province of Hatay in January 2014, Cumhuriyet reported along with pictures of the contents of the trucks. 

The trial of Dündar and Gül is due to start at the end of March.