Istanbul Deputy Chief Public Prosecutor İrfan Fidan has demanded life sentences for jailed journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül.
Can Dündar, editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet newspaper, and Ankara Bureau chief Erdem Gül were arrested on Nov. 26 2015 for allegedly revealing confidential state security information for political and military espionage, divulging state secrets, attempting to overthrow the government and wilfully aiding an armed terrorist organisation.
The charges came after they covered a story on trucks owned by Turkey’s state intelligence agency National Intelligence Agency (MİT) believed to be carrying weapons to extremist militants in Syria.
The indictment carries one aggravated life sentence, one life sentence and an additional 30 years in jail for each of the journalists.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, president of Turkey and Hakan Fidan, chief of the National Intelligence Agency are named as the plaintiffs in the case.
President Erdogan had said “I also filed a lawsuit. What only matters to them is casting a shadow on Turkey’s image. I suppose the person who wrote this as an exclusive report will pay a heavy price for this,” on an interview with Turkey’s state TV, TRT.
Can Dündar responded to threat on Twitter in June 1, using the president’s words against him, writing: “The person who committed this crime will pay a heavy price. We will not let go of him.”
Bu suçu işleyen kişi, bedelini ağır ödeyecek. Öyle bırakmayız onu… http://t.co/Hv8nou5FmZ
— Can Dündar (@candundaradasi) May 31, 2015
The case has raised international concern over worsening issues with press freedom and freedom of expression in Turkey.