Journalist convicted of Gülen links, released pending appeal

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Journalist Mehmet Gündem.

The İstanbul 35th High Criminal Court on Tuesday sentenced veteran journalist Mehmet Gündem to six years, 10 months, 15 days on charges of membership in the Gülen movement, releasing him pending appeal after 21 months of incarceration, the NTV news website reported.

Gündem was accused of working for the Journalists and Writers Foundation (JWF), a Gülen-affiliated nongovernmental organization shut down by the Turkish government after a 2016 coup attempt.

Turkey accuses the Gülen movement of masterminding the failed coup, although it strongly denies any involvement.

Dozens of journalists were arrested over Gülen links following the abortive putsch.

Turkey, where more than 150 journalists and media workers are currently jailed, was ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index released in April by Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

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