Ahmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak released

This story has been updated with the news of releases and relevant tweet messages and videos.

Journalists Ahmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak have been released from prison following a court order on late Monday, on account of the time the pair have already served in jail.

"My years have not been lost. I did not allow them to be lost," Altan said upon leaving the prison compound. "I wrote books. I wouldn't lose my years that easily."

Nazlı Ilıcak called for reform on Turkey's criminal execution law upon her release.

The journalists had been convicted of aiding U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, who Ankara accuses of orchestrating the July 2016 coup attempt.

Altan and Ilıcak were detained in Sept. 2016, in a crackdown against intellectuals and writers following the failed putsch and given life sentences in February 2018 over attempting to overthrow the “constitutional order,” “interfering with the work of the national assembly,” and “interfering with the work of the government” through violence or force.

Both have denied the charges against them.

Ilıcak and Altan's first out-of-jail photos have already been published by Turkish media outlets.

A Turkish appeals court in July cleared the journalists of charges of violating the constitution, but rejected the requests for their release, ruling that both had aided ”knowingly and willingly” the Gülen movement.

More than 77,000 people have been jailed pending trial, and about 150,000 civil servants, military personnel and others have been sacked or suspended from their jobs in Turkey over alleged links to Gülen since the failed putsch of 2016. 

The court also acquitted journalist Mehmet Altan, a defendant in the same case, of alleged links to the Gülen movement. He had already been released from prison in June 2018, after serving four months behind bars.