Top Turkish journalist released after a year in jail over allegations of writing against President Erdogan
Source : NewsBharatiDate : 26-Sep-2017
Ankara, September 26: Turkey is a rigid and conservative country. The media in the country is not allowed to target the ruling government or it’s President. Cumhuriyet columnist Kadri Gursel was released yesterday after 11 months in jail. His only fault was that he wrote against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s governing decisions.
Gursel was also the editorial director of Cumhuriyet and was still jailed. He said in a statement, “This is not something to be really happy about. There are Cumhuriyet staff who have been jailed due to unjust, baseless allegations.” Gursel also pointed to tensions at the newspaper under the editorship of Can Dundar, who in 2015 broke an explosive story claiming Turkey was sending arms to Syria, and who now lives in exile in Germany.
The same court ordered that four other detained suspects must stay in jail: the paper's chairman Akin Atalay, editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu, investigative reporter Ahmet Sik and accountant Emre Iper. There are 171 journalists in Turkish jails, according to the P24 press freedom group. Most of them were arrested under the state of emergency imposed after a failed coup attempt in July last year.
The country ranks 155 out of 180 on the latest world press freedom index by Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Many such have been arrested in Turkey over false charges. Recently, the most horrendous arrest was that of a Amnesty International director and other members.