Seven staff from Turkish opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet were early yesterday released from prison after more than eight months behind bars, expressing hope four colleagues still in prison would be released soon.
An Istanbul court on Friday ordered the release of the seven in a trial seen as a test for press freedom under the rule of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, but kept the most prominent journalists in jail.
The staff from the newspaper, one of the few voices in the media in Turkey to oppose Erdogan, had been charged with aiding terror groups in accusations denounced as absurd by supporters.
Those freed have been released under judicial control, meaning they would have to report regularly to authorities and remain charged.
The seven, including the newspaper’s respected cartoonist, Musa Kart, were freed from Silviri jail on the outskirts of Istanbul early yesterday following the court’s decision.
“We were taken away from the people we love, our relatives, our work,” Kart said after his release, but added: “Believe me, during this period in jail we have felt no hatred, no rancor; we could not live with such thoughts.”
The others released include books supplement editor Turhan Gunay, as well as the newspaper’s legal executives. They had been held for 271 days in jail.
The four remaining in custody are commentator Kadri Gursel, investigative journalist Ahmet Sik, editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu and chief executive Akin Atalay.
“I thought I was going to be very happy to find out that I was going to be released, but I can’t say that today. Unfortunately, four of our friends are still behind bars,” Kart said. “The image of journalists in jail is not flattering for our country and I hope our four friends will come out as soon as possible.”
The staff have been charged with supporting in their coverage three groups that Turkey considers terror groups — the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the ultra-left Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front and the movement of Fethullah Gulen, a US-based preacher who Ankara accuses of ordering a coup attempt last year.
The next hearing was set for Sept. 11. If convicted, they face varying terms of up to 43 years in jail.
Prosecutors said that they would file new accusations against Sik over an incendiary defense statement he made on Wednesday, slamming Turkey’s ruling party over its past cooperation with the Gulen movement.
Tall, thin and brightly colored, Hanoi’s “tube houses” dominate the city’s streets as 9 million people compete for space in Vietnam’s bustling capital. Although Vietnam saw a number of villas and garden houses built during the French colonial period, Hanoi has few of these grand residential homes. Instead, tree-lined streets are packed with dwellings that are barely 4m wide, but are three times that in depth. Typically, a tube house might be home to a family of four, but two or three generations of relatives sometimes have to jostle for space. The first tube houses — known as nha ong in Vietnamese — are
The head of the Philippine military on Monday visited a coral-fringed island his country occupies in the South China Sea, a move that could stoke already heightened tensions between Manila and Beijing in disputed waters claimed by both countries. During the visit, Philippine Armed Forces Lieutenant General Cirilito Sobejana commended service members for the role they played in protecting the island’s residents and “guarding the country’s territories” in the strategic waterway. The visit comes after diplomatic protests made by the Philippines in the past few months over what it says is the illegal presence of hundreds of “Chinese maritime militia” vessels inside
‘WITHIN SAFE LIMITS’: Hong Kong is to ask authorities in Guangdong for updates regarding the Taishan Nuclear Power Plant and inform the public of developments The Hong Kong government is closely watching a nearby Chinese nuclear power plant following a news report that it might be leaking, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) said yesterday. The plant’s operators have released few details, but nuclear experts have said that based on their brief public statement, the facility might be suffering a leak of gas from fuel rods inside a reactor. Government data showed that radiation levels in Hong Kong were normal on Monday night, Lam said. Data from the Hong Kong Observatory showed radiation levels were still normal yesterday. A French company that helps manage the Taishan Nuclear
Maori might have been the first to discover Antarctica, with connections to the icy continent and its surrounding oceans stretching back to the seventh century, researchers say. A new paper by University of Otago combines literature and oral histories, and concludes that Maori were likely the first people to explore Antarctica’s surrounding waters and possibly the continent in the distance. They write that Maori and Polynesian journeys to the deep south have been occurring for a long time, perhaps as far back as the 7th century, and are recorded in a variety of oral traditions. The oral histories of Maori groups Ngti Rrua