CPJ joins call for Turkey to release Cumhuriyet journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists has joined an appeal alongside 13 other international advocacy groups, calling on Turkey to release Can Dündar, editor-in-chief of the Turkish pro-opposition daily Cumhuriyet, Erdem Gül, the paper’s Ankara bureau chief, and all other journalists currently imprisoned in Turkey for their work.

Dündar and Gül are being held in pretrial detention on charges of espionage and terrorism after their arrest Thursday, according to reports. The charges against them are related to a report published in Cumhuriyet in May alleging that trucks belonging to the Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MİT) had been used to smuggle arms to rebel groups in Syria, according to reports. The government has denied the allegations, according to local reports. If convicted, the journalists could be sentenced to life in prison, reports said.

Details of the appeal were published today after a press conference in Istanbul about the Cumhuriyet journalists’ arrests, hosted by Reporters Without Borders and the Turkish Association of Journalists, and attended by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

A copy of the appeal can be viewed here.