Turkey’s top court on Thursday ruled that two jailed journalists be released, local media reported, a decision lawyers said could set a precedent for dozens of other reporters jailed in a widespread crackdown under the president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The constitutional court ordered the release of Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay, ruling their rights had been violated, CNN Turk and other local media reported. The two, in prison for more than year, have been accused of links to terrorist groups and attempting to overthrow the government, charges they deny.
‘The (court) should take a step to ensure the freedom of all arrested journalists'”
– Baris Yarkadas, MP for opposition CHP party
Officials at the court were not immediately available for comment. Lawyers for the journalists did not immediately respond for requests for comment.
The two, along with a third journalist, Turhan Gunay, had argued their arrests were not legal and their rights and freedoms had been violated in pre-trial detention. Eleven of the court’s judges ruled in their favour, and six against, the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper reported.