Court rejects appeal to release Cumhuriyet editors Dundar, Gul

Dundar and Gul were arrested by the İstanbul 7th Penal Court of Peace last Thursday on charges of being members of a terrorist organization, espionage and revealing confidential documents due to a report and photos published in Cumhuriyet over MİT trucks that were allegedly transferring arms to Syria.

Lawyers representing Dundar and Gul appealed the decision to arrest the journalists on Monday. In the appeal, submitted to the İstanbul 7th Criminal Court of Peace, the lawyers said they are doing their part to appeal against the arrest, which, they said, is “against the law, the Constitution, the European Convention on Human Rights [ECHR] and the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights [ECtHR].”

“The rest is on you. The choice and responsibility is yours,” the lawyers said in the appeal.

The appeal was rejected on the same day by the court, which said according to reports circulating in the media there is nothing against the law and procedure in the ruling. The appeal was then sent to a higher court for a final decision before the İstanbul 8th Criminal Court of Peace also rejected the release demand in its Tuesday ruling.

The articles, published on the daily’s front page in May, reported that gendarmes intercepted the trucks in question on two occasions in January 2014 after prosecutors received tip-offs that they were illegally carrying arms to Syria. There have been allegations that the arms were going to extremist groups fighting against the ruling Syrian regime. Ankara, on the other hand, insisted the trucks were carrying aid to Syrian Turkmens and branded their interception an act of treason and espionage.