Turkish Editor sentenced to three years over tweet

An Istanbul court sentenced the online editor of Turkey’s secular leftist Cumhuriyet daily to three years and one month in prison on Tuesday over a tweet shared in May, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Oguz Guven was charged with carrying out propaganda for a terrorist organisation and publishing statements by terrorist groups, according to Anadolu.

Guven plans to appeal the sentence, said Sezgin Tanrikulu, an opposition lawmaker and lawyer from the People’s Republican Party (CHP), who has closely followed the case.

Guven spent one month in jail after an Istanbul court ordered his arrest following a tweet that referred to a public prosecutor, who was killed in a car accident.

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The contents of the tweet, which read “Prosecutor mowed down by a truck” in Turkish, were deemed offensive by the authorities and thought to hamper efforts to fight terrorism.

Cumhuriyet said the tweet was deleted in less than a minute. Guven was released in June, pending trial.

The court on Tuesday also charged Guven for aiding Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based Turkish Islamist cleric, blamed for last year’s coup attempt.

The Turkish government designates Gulen’s movement a terrorist organisation. Gulen denies all charges.

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A total of 17 Cumhuriyet journalists and staff are separately on trial on terrorism-related charges, including former Editor-In-Chief, Can Dundar, who has been living in exile in Germany since 2016.

Four key defendants remain behind bars, including the daily’s editor-in-chief and chief executive.

Turkey has been under a state of emergency since a failed coup attempt in July last year.

 

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