In Turkey, opposition journalists face decades in jail as media crackdown intensifies

Over a dozen journalists at a leading opposition newspaper in Turkey go on trial in Istanbul on Monday facing up to 43 years in prison in one of the most high-profile cases of the government’s crackdown on the media following last year’s coup attempt.

The staff at Cumhuriyet are charged with aiding a terrorist organisation and most are accused of helping supporters of Fetullah Gulen, a Muslim preacher who Turkey accuses of masterminding the putsch last July. Mr Gulen has denied taking part.

Twelve of the newspaper’s journalists are currently in prison. Five others were released pending trial, while two other journalists will be tried in absentia. The paper has been running the pictures of those in prison daily on the front page alongside the amount of days they have spent behind bars. 

Some 160 journalists are behind bars in Turkey and 130 media outlets were shut down following the putsch,…

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