Journalist Altan brothers to remain under detention until Sept. 20

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Novelist Ahmet Altan and his brother Professor Ahmet Altan

Veysel Ok, a lawyer for journalists Mehmet Altan and Ahmet Altan, who were detained on Sept. 10, has said the journalists’ period of detention has been extended until Sept. 20 and that it could be extended even further, the T24 news portal reported on Thursday.

The Altan brothers were detained on charges that they announced the news about the July 15 coup attempt during a program on Can Erzincan TV on July 14.

Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15 that killed over 240 people and wounded more than a thousand others.

The Altan brothers are prominent journalists who have been unequivocally critical of the regime of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Ahmet Altan is a novelist and former editor-in-chief of the now-closed-down Taraf newspaper. The daily ran headlines that led to the Ergenekon and Balyoz coup plot investigations, which helped the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government subdue the role of the military in Turkish politics. After quitting Taraf, Altan resumed writing harsh critical columns against the increasingly authoritarian AKP government and President Erdoğan.

Mehmet Altan, an economics professor at İstanbul University, is also a columnist known for his liberal views and criticism of the government amid increasing and unprecedented pressure on the media and dissidents. He was recently targeted by pro-Erdoğan columnist Hilal Kaplan for not being dismissed from his position at the university at a time when hundreds of academics and teachers were being expelled from their posts as part of an investigation into the failed coup attempt.

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