Ahmet Altan at the Edinburgh international book festival in 2015. Gary Doak-Alamy
Alamy

Turkey’s Constitutional Court on Friday rejected the appeals for freedom from Ahmet Altan and Nazli Ilicak, two prominent journalists who were taken into custody after a failed coup in 2016.

The state news agency Anadolu reported Altan and Ilicak were sentenced to life imprisonment in February 2018 for their alleged ties to Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accused of plotting the abortive putsch by a faction of the military.

The country’s top court rejected their individual applications that their rights were violated in detention.

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day.

Turkey has jailed over 12 journalists and shut down several media houses since the coup attempt.

In the case of a third journalist, Ali Bulac, the court ruled that his right to personal freedom and freedom of expression had been violated, Anadolu said.

Altan was also sentenced to five years and 11 months in another trial for terrorist propaganda and insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

He was the Editor-in-Chief of the now defunct newspaper Taraf.

On May 2, the Constitutional Court ruled that the personal freedom, safety and freedom of speech of the two journalists for Cumhuriyet Newspaper, Kadri Gursel and Murat Aksoy had been violated.

Fourteen staff members from Cumhuriyet, which is critical of the government, were sentenced in April 2018 to various jail terms on charges of terrorism and supporting Gulen.

Six of them were jailed after their appeals failed.

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