Turkish courts tried 24 journalists last week - report

Turkish courts held trials for 24 journalists last week and seven journalists were convicted of terrorism charges, Bianet said, citing its Media Monitoring Database.

An appeals court in Istanbul upheld prison sentences for seven out of nine journalists from Sözcü daily, who were sentenced for aiding the Gülen movement, a religious group Turkey accuses of orchestrating a coup attempt in 2016. 

Meanwhile, four journalists from BirGün daily were acquitted of the same charges in another trial. Turkish authorities filed a lawsuit against the journalists last year over BirGün's publication of reports based on tweets of a whistleblower social media account, that goes by the name Fuat Avni, that the government says was affiliated with the Gülen movement.

The Twitter account claimed to be a part of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s inner circle, and published tweets which accurately predicted several events before they happened.

Five former employees of the now defunct Taraf daily, a former pro-government outlet that was shut down by the government after the coup attempt, have been on trial for "obtaining and securing documents relating to state security," "disclosing secret information through the press," and "making propaganda for a terrorist organisation", Bianet said.

Last week, a prosecutor in Istanbul demanded that exiled Turkish journalist Can Dündar face up to 35 years in prison over charges of aiding and abetting a terrorist organisation and military espionage. The trial of Deniz Yücel, Die Welt's former Istanbul correspondent who previously spent more than a year in prison in Turkey, for "insulting a public official" also continued on October 13, it said.

Turkey is often cited by the Committee to Protect Journalists as the world’s largest jailer of media personnel in the world, alongside China and Egypt. 

Thousands of journalists, academics and public workers were prosecuted or dismissed from their jobs under the state of emergency in place in Turkey for two years after the coup attempt took place.