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Three More Journalists Gets Suspended Jail Term For Insulting Erdogan

Three journalists, the editor-in-chief of Ozgur Gundem daily, Huseyin Aykol, the daily’s managing editor Inan Kizilkaya and a columnist for the daily Evrensel, Ihsan Caralan, have been handed down prison sentence, which was suspended for two of them, on charges of “insulting the president” on Thursday, Turkish media reported.

The trio, along with their lawyers, attended the sentencing hearing held by the Istanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance.

The judge stressed that the journalists committed the crime of “insulting the president” multiple times at different times and that it was committed publicly, which initially increased the sentence up to more than two years for each.

However, due to the defendants’ good behavior during the trial, the sentences were reduced to 10 months and 26 days in prison for Aykol and Kizilkaya, each, while Caralan was sentenced to 11 months and 20 days.

The judge eventually decided to suspend the sentences for Kizilkaya and Caralan. Aykol, on the other hand, will go to prison if the verdict is not appealed or upheld by the Supreme Court of Appeals.

The court also ruled that the three journalists will be under legal supervision for five years after they serve their time.

Ozgur Gundem daily was one of the news outlets shut down with a government decree, as part of the massive media crackdown that followed 2016’s coup attempt targeting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

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