- Title: Award winning Turkish writer appears in court for ties to Kurdish militants
- Date: 29th December 2016
- Summary: ISTANBUL, TURKEY (DECEMBER 29, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF ISTANBUL COURT HOUSE EXTERIOR VARIOUS OF WATER CANNON AND POLICE CAR IN FRONT OF COURT HOUSE
- Embargoed: 13th January 2017 13:14
- Keywords: Turkey opposition writer trial
- Location: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- City: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice,Judicial Process/Court Cases/Court Decisions
- Reuters ID: LVA0015EXS75Z
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Prize-winning Turkish novelist Asli Erdogan and linguist Necmiye Alpay appeared in court on Thursday (December 29) after being charged with spreading terrorist propaganda, along with seven other staff from a pro-Kurdish newspaper closed by the authorities.
Prosecutors are seeking long jail terms or life sentences for the defendants on charges of belonging to a terrorist organisation and harming national unity.
Alpay and Asli Erdogan, who is not related to the Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan, have been in jail after awaiting trial since August. They both pleaded not guilty.
Asli Erdogan is a member of the advisory board for the Ozgur Gundem newspaper, which was closed by court order on Tuesday (December 27) on the grounds of spreading propaganda of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is deemed a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union.
Separately, a prominent Turkish journalist Ahmet Sik said on Thursday he was being detained by authorities over a Twitter statement he made. An opposition lawmaker who spoke to him said the reporter was being accused of terrorist propaganda.
At least 81 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists, with more than 130 media outlets shut since a failed coup attempt in July. Journalists and writers are largely facing charges of terrorist propaganda.
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