Turkish scribes released after 92 days in jail

Ankara, Feb 26 (IANS) Two Turkish journalists were freed on Friday following 92 days in prison on terrorism charges.

Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled on Thursday night that the fundamental rights of Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief Can Dundar and the daily’s Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gul were violated.

Following the decision, Istanbul 14th Court of Serious Crimes ordered their release but subjected them to an overseas travel ban, Hurriyet Daily News reported.

Dundar and Gul were detained in November 2015 over a report alleging that the Turkish government tried to ship arms to Islamists in Syria.

They were held in the Silivri jail on the outskirts of Istanbul.

Dündar praised the Constitutional Court’s decision, saying it was “historic” in terms of the state of freedom of expression in Turkey.

“The Constitutional Court’s ruling opened the way, not just for us, but for all our colleagues in terms of press freedoms and freedom of expression,” he said.

Turkey ranks 149th amongst the 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders’ World Press Freedom Index 2015. Media organisations in Turkey say that more than 30 journalists are currently behind bars.

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