[UPDATE] 6 journalists released after lengthy pre-trial detention taken into custody again

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Six of 21 journalists who had been in pre-trial detention for eight months and were released pending trial on Friday were detained again later the same day.

The İstanbul 25th High Criminal Court had ruled on Friday for the release of 21 out of 26 journalists who were accused of membership in the faith-based Gülen movement, which has been designated as a terror organization by the Turkish government and accused of orchestrating a failed coup last summer.

Meanwhile, the court decided to keep journalists Davut Aydın, Emre Soncan, Mutlu Çölgeçen, Ufuk Şanlı and Ünal Tanık in pre-trial detention.

According to a tally by Turkeypurge.com, 149 media outlets have been shut down by government decrees and 162 journalists arrested since the failed coup of July 15, 2016.

Although the Gülen movement strongly denies having any role in the putsch, the government accuses it of having masterminding the abortive coup. Fethullah Gülen, who inspired the movement, called for an international investigation into the coup attempt, but President Erdoğan — calling the coup attempt “a gift from God” — and the government initiated a widespread purge aimed at cleansing sympathizers of the movement from within state institutions, dehumanizing its popular figures and putting them in custody.

Over 135,000 people, including thousands within the military, have been purged due to their real or alleged connection to the Gülen movement since the coup attempt, according to a statement by the labor minister on Jan. 10.

As of March 23, 94,982 people were being held without charge, with an additional 47,128 in pre-trial detention due to their alleged links to the movement. A total of 7,317 academics were purged as well as 4,272 judges and prosecutors, who were dismissed due to alleged involvement in the July 15 coup attempt.

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