7 daily staff to serve jail terms over FETO ties

Turkish daily Sozcu staff sentenced to prison as part of probe into terrorist group's media links

Muhammed Enes Can and Basak Akbulut Yazar   | 27.12.2019
7 daily staff to serve jail terms over FETO ties


A Turkish court on Friday ruled jail term for seven employees of Turkish daily Sozcu on charges of assisting Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) -- the group behind the 2016 defeated coup -- a judicial source said.

Heavy Penal Court No. 37 in Istanbul sentenced the suspects to prison over the charge of "willfully assisting a terrorist organization”.

Two correspondents, Emin Colasan and Necati Dogru were sentenced to three years and six months in prison.

The daily’s website editor Mustafa Cetin and chief editor Metin Yilmaz were sentenced to three years and four months in prison.

The same court sentenced Yuksel Ari, Yonca Yucekaleli, and Bekir Gokmen Ulu to two years and one month in prison.

Owner of the daily Burak Akbay's file was separated since the court had not yet taken his statement.

The arrest warrant issued for Akbay continued. He was accused of committing crimes on behalf of FETO.

In a 2017 investigation, an Istanbul prosecutor's office sent a letter to the court, citing three witnesses with "experience" in journalism who claimed Akbay had FETO links abroad.

Akbay could not be arrested as he was out of the country.

The newspaper's website manager Mediha Olgun was acquitted by the court due to evidence proving that she did not commit the crimes she was accused of.

Earlier, the suspects were remanded in custody as part of a probe into the terrorist group's media links.

Hours before July 15 coup attempt was launched, Ulu wrote a report titled "SOZCU tracks down Erdogan", pinpointing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's location, accompanied by photos.

The Istanbul Caglayan Court said in its ruling at the time that even the president's aide-de-camp did not know his exact address and was trying to get in touch with presidential officials to find out.

FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Turkey accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary.

*Writing by Gozde Bayar

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