The 13th Heavy Penal Court announced its verdict in the case where the 31 former columnists and workers of the Zaman daily newspaper, which was closed as per the Statutory Decree no. 686, including Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç, Mümtazer Türköne, Ahmet T. Alkan, Nuriye Akman and Mustafa Ünal were tried on charges of "coup attempt" and "membership of FETÖ."
In the interlocutory verdict announced at previous hearings, the case files of 20 defendants were separated. The court gave its verdict for the remaining 11 defendants today (July 6).
At the hearing held at 13th Heavy Penal Court, the court board sentenced Şahin Alpay, Ali Bulaç and Ahmet Turan Alkan to 8 years and 9 months; İbrahim Karayeğen to 9 years; and Mümtazer Türköne and Mustafa Ünal to 10 years and 6 months in prison.
The court board ruled that Ahmet Turan Alkan and İbrahim Karayeğen shall be released from prison. As for Mustafa Ünal and Mümtazer Türköne, the court board ruled for the continuation of their detentions.
While the court board ruled that all of the 11 defendants shall be acquitted of the charge of "violating the Constitution", Orhan Kemal Cengiz, Lale Sarıibrahimoğlu, İhsan Dağı, Nuriye Ural and Mehmet Özdemir have been acquitted of all charges pressed against them.
The Court Board consisted of the Presiding Judge Fahrettin Düzalan; the court members Kadir Karakoç and Dr. Abdullah Ok; Prosecutor Cem Üstündağ.
Following the coup attempt on July 15, 2016, operations began against media organizations known to be affiliated with the Gülen Community and tens of journalists and media employees were taken into custody.
Osman Nuri Öztürk, Süleyman Sargın, Şeref Yılmaz, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Alaattin Güner, Faruk Akkan, Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Lale Kemal, Ali Bulaç, Sedat Yetişkin, Murat Avcıoğlu, Yüksel Durgut, Zafer Özsoy, Cuma Kaya, Hakan Taşdelen, Osman Nuri Arslan and Nuriye Ural were taken into custody during the first wave of detentions on September 27, 2016.
The defendants were being charged with "attempting to annihilate the constitutional order", "attempting to overthrow the Grand National Assembly of the Republic of Turkey or to deter it from carrying out its duties", "attempting to overthrow the Government of the Republic of Turkey or to deter it from carrying out its duties", "being a member of an armed terrorist organization".
In accordance with the above mentioned charges, the defendants faced three aggravated life imprisonments and 15 years in prison each.