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Indictment against Cumhuriyet journalists finalized on 156th day of arrest

İstanbul prosecutors have finally prepared an indictment for Cumhuriyet daily journalists and executives who were arrested in November 2016 on charges of supporting several terrorist organizations.

There are 19 suspects mentioned in the indictment, including arrested Cumhuriyet daily journalists and executives as well as former Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar, who left Turkey before a failed military coup attempt on July 15, and the owner of a popular Twitter account “JeansBiri.”

Nine journalists and executives from the Cumhuriyet daily, including its Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu, were arrested by the İstanbul 9th Penal Court of Peace on Nov. 5.

Kadri Gürsel, Musa Kart, Güray Öz, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Turhan Günay, Bülent Utku, Önder Çelik and Eser Sevinç from Cumhuriyet were arrested in addition to the paper’s editor-in-chief Sabuncu. Cumhuriyet daily’s chief executive officer, Akın Atalay, was detained at İstanbul Atatürk Airport upon his return from Germany and subsequently arrested on Nov. 12.

Dündar, who is currently in Germany, is cited as the prime suspect in the indictment.

Cumhuriyet journalists face allegations of aiding the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), far-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) and FETÖ.

“FETÖ” is a derogatory term and acronym for the “Fethullahist Terrorist Organization,” coined by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government to refer to the Gülen movement, which Erdoğan and the AKP accuse of masterminding the failed coup attempt on July 15.

The popular Twitter user posting under the name “JeansBiri” was arrested on Nov. 22 after 25 days in detention for starting a hashtag on the social media platform about a call from a pro-AKP figure for the arming of party members.

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