Turkey court orders rearrest of journalist Ahmet Altan

Ankara (AFP) –


A Turkish court on Tuesday ordered the arrest of prominent journalist Ahmet Altan just a week after his release from prison over alleged links to the failed 2016 coup, state media reported.

Altan and another veteran journalist Nazli Ilicak were released on November 4 despite being convicted of "helping a terrorist group".

The Istanbul court sentenced Altan to more than 10 years in jail, but ruled that he and Ilicak should be released under supervision after time already served -- around three years each.

They were also forbidden from leaving the country.

An arrest warrant was issued on Tuesday after the chief public prosecutor appealed against the decision to release Altan, state news agency Anadolu said.

Novelist Altan has been accused of having links to the outlawed movement of US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of ordering the attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016.

Gulen denies the accusation.

For their part, Ahmed Altan and Ilicak have denied any involvement in the failed coup, calling such accusations "grotesque".

Last year both Altan and Ilicak were sentenced to life in prison, but a top appeals court quashed the verdict in July and ordered a retrial on a different charge.