Turkish constitutional court to give crucial decision on arrested journalists

Turkey’s constitutional court is to issue a ruling on Thursday on the cases of three journalists facing terrorism charges, and the result is likely to prove a precedent for later cases, opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet said.

Mehmet Altan, Şahin Alpay and Turhan Günay made individual applications to the court claiming violations of their rights to personal freedom and security, of press freedom and freedom of expression, and of the 18th clause of the European Convention on Human Rights, the newspaper said.

All three journalists were arrested on variations of charges relating to membership of the Gülen movement, the followers of an exile preacher the Turkish government accuses of masterminding the July 2016 failed coup attempt.

Many of Turkey’s other media workers, especially those jailed on similar charges, will be paying close attention to the outcome and the legal logic of the decision.