Turkish Court Rules to Keep 10 Reporters in Prison; Two Released
Istanbul court decided to keep 10 reporters in jail in a major media trial in Istanbul, while released two journalists, Cihan Acar and Bunyamin Koseli, after hearings took place several days this week. The court now faces a social media blitz launched by government supporters to put released journalists back in jail.
Thirteen journalists appeared at hearings this week at Caglayan Courthouse in Istanbul. After lengthy sessions of hearings, defendants presented hours-long defenses.
The court decided to release Cihan Acar and Bunyamin Koseli, while sent 10 journalists to jail back over ” the existence of strong suspicion that they might have supported the coup.” Former Zaman news Editor Ali Akkus was already released pending trial. He attended the hearing on Tuesday.
The decision created an uproar and rage at courtroom where families exploded in fury and swift reaction.
Sehriban Aksoy, the wife of Murat Aksoy, a well-known journalist, was dismayed by the decision. She reflected her shock on Twitter.
The ruling sparked a new wave of social media campaign by government trolls and supporters who were furious to see the release of anyone who had been imprisoned in post-coup crackdown.
In terms laced with profanity and insults, government’s loyal supporters now target the prosecutor and judges who released the two journalists. When different judges moved to release 13 journalists on March 31, they were suspended from their profession.
It remains to be seen whether the fate of the current judges will be the same.
Nearly 200 journalists are in prison in Turkey. Journalists are being tried in a number of different trials. The majority of them face aggravated life sentences news reports, tweets, and columns.