10.5-year jail sentence sought for Cumhuriyet editor due to news headline

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Oğuz Güven

A prosecutor is seeking a jail sentence of up to 10.5 years for the Cumhuriyet daily’s website editor Oğuz Güven, who has been behind bars since May 15, on terror charges due to the headline of a story on the daily’s website.

Güven is accused of disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization and printing or publishing the reports of terror organizations.

Güven was detained on May 12 due to a report that appeared on the website of the daily about the traffic death of a public prosecutor, Mustafa Alper, in the western province of Denizli. The website headline had read “Truck snips prosecutor in traffic accident.”

Cumhuriyet’s Editor-in-Chief Murat Sabuncu was in early November arrested along with eight other Cumhuriyet columnists and executives for allegedly committing crimes on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Gülen movement, which the government accuses of masterminding a failed coup attempt on July 15.

Meanwhile, former Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar earlier moved to Germany after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan personally targeted him for a sensational report in Cumhuriyet about alleged illegal arms deliveries by Turkey to opposition groups in Syria.

Rights organizations estimate the number of jailed journalists in Turkey to be between 160 and 235.

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