Turkish court sentences 3 journalists to life imprisonment

Ankara: Three Turkish journalists accused of being involved in the failed 2016 coup were sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday by a regional court in Istanbul.

The well-known journalists — Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan and Nazli Ilicak — were found guilty of attempting to destroy constitutional order in Turkey by mobilising people for the coup which took place on July 15-16, 2016.

Ilhan Cihaner, a former prosecutor and ex-member of Parliament for the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said that the court of appeal sentence was not final and that the case would be taken to the Turkish constitutional court, Efe news reported.

The journalists were accused of rallying the viewers of a television programme they appeared on, on the eve of the failed revolt, and of encouraging them to get ready for the coup as well as threatening Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan.

Ahmet Altan is a well known novelist and journalist, while his brother Mehmet is a journalist and renowned economist.

Over 200 international intellectuals, including Noam Chomsky, Costas Gavras and Orhan Pamuk, signed a petition demanding that the brothers be set free.

Nazli Ilicak is a high-profile TV journalist and a fierce supporter of Fethullah Gulen, an exiled cleric accused by Ankara of leading the failed revolt.