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Altan brothers denied access to lawyers as long holiday begins

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Turkey’s renowned critical columnists, brothers Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan, still have no access to their lawyer even after spending two days in detention, and their detention warrant has not yet been presented.

Speaking to news portal T24, the Altan brothers’ lawyer, Veysel Ok, said the columnists, accused of ¨revealing¨ the coup attempt of July 15 the night before on a TV show by ¨subliminal messages¨ hidden in their criticism, are being held in custody at the main police station on İstanbul’s Vatan Avenue.

“I still have not received any detention warrant or talked to my clients,” lawyer Ok said, adding that he only learned of the accusations against the columnists from the state-run Anadolu news agency. Ok also noted that he would appeal the detention decision on Sept. 12.

Since Turkey will observe Eid al-Adha all week long, the interrogation of the Altan brothers could wait until the official holiday ends on Sept. 19. Access to a lawyer could also take up to five days as part of measures imposed due to a state of emergency declared following the foiled coup on July 15.

Currently imprisoned columnist Nazlı Ilıcak might also testify in the same investigation since she was the host of the TV show on the now-closed-down Can Erzincan TV, where the Altan brothers made the remarks for which they are being accused and detained.

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