Turkish prosecutor seeks life imprisonment for former newspaper editor-in-chief

A Turkish prosecutor is seeking life imprisonment for Ahmet Altan, a novelist and former newspaper editor, his brother and academic Mehmet Altan and well-known journalist Nazlı Ilıcak in a case being heard on Monday, pro-government newspaper HaberTürk said.

The trio are among seven suspects accused of knowing in advance about the July 2016 failed coup and preparing the groundwork for it.

Taraf newspaper, where Ahmet Altan was editor-in-chief, gained prominence for its liberal stance and its revelations about Turkey’s so-called deep state – some of which, government supporters later said, were fabricated by the Gülen movement and fed to journalists there.

The Gülen movement, composed of followers of U.S.-based preacher Fethullah Gülen, has been declared a terrorist organisation in Turkey, which says it carried out last-year’s coup attempt.

Two others in the case are the former brand manager at Gülen movement-linked Zaman newspaper and the owner of the newspaper’s former marketing company, who are accused of having encoded a secret message about the coming coup in a surreal advert for the newspaper.