An Istanbul court on Friday jailed two opposition journalists on charges of revealing state secrets, in a trial that has become a lightning rod for concerns about the erosion of press freedom in Turkey.

 

Editor-in-chief of Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet daily Can Dundar (L) and the newspaper bureau chief in Ankara Erdem Gul (R) arriving at the Istanbul courthouse for their trial

 

Can Dundar, editor-in-chief of leading opposition daily Cumhuriyet, was sentenced to five years and 10 months at the closed-door trial, while his Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul was handed five years in prison, television stations said.

 

The sentencing came hours after Dundar escaped an apparent attempt on his life by a gunman outside the courthouse.

 

The two men were acquitted of espionage but were found guilty of revealing state secrets over a story accusing the government of seeking to illicitly deliver arms bound for Syria.

 

They will not immediately be placed in detention as the court of appeal has yet to rule on the case.

 

“We will continue to do our job as journalists, despite all these attempts to silence us,” Dundar told reporters after the verdict. “We have to preserve courage in our country.

 

 

 

 

Tags: ; ; ; ;