Jailed Turkish academic’s lawyers start petitioning campaign

The lawyers representing Mehmet Altan, a Turkish economics professor and newspaper columnist who stands accused of links to a July 2016 failed coup in the country, have begun to write a petition to the court of appeals against his jailing every day until his release, campaigning media group P24 said.

Altan was sentenced to life in prison in February on charges of foreknowledge of the coup and intention to act as part of its media arm, but the European Court of Human Rights ruled in March that he should be released.

There had been drama before Altan’s conviction as well: Turkey’s constitutional court ordered his release from prison, but the lower court refused to carry out its orders and blocked Altan’s release.

In protest at the violations of Altan’s rights both during his conviction and throughout his time in solitary confinement, from June 11 onwards lawyers Ergin Cinmen and Figen Albuga Çalıkuşu have decided to submit petitions every day asking for an appeals court to take up his case.