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Turkish court sentences six journalists to life in prison over 2016 failed coup

AFP archive | Dozens of journalists have been arrested in Turkey since the failed coup bid in July 2016, sparking protests.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency says an Istanbul court has sentenced six Turkish journalists accused of involvement in a 2016 coup attempt to life in prison.

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Those sentenced on Friday include Ahmet Altan, the former editor-in-chief of Taraf newspaper, his brother, economics professor and journalistMehmet Altan, and prominent journalist Nazli Ilicak.

The Altan brothers were charged with giving coded messages in a television talk show a day before the abortive July 15, 2016, military coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Turkey's highest court had ordered the release of Mehmet Altan in January but a lower court refused.

Three other defendants were also sentenced to life for trying to abolish the constitution and overthrow the government, TRT Haber television reported.

The journalists are also accused of having links to US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkey blames for the failed coup. Gulen denies the accusation.

The defendants were charged with attempts to subvert Turkey's constitution and membership in a terror organisation.

Earlier on Friday, a Turkish court accepted an indictment seeking up to 18 years in prison for German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel and released him from custody pending trial.

(FRANCE 24 with AP and REUTERS)

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