Turkey arrests three journalists over report on Turkish soldier's funeral

(Releads with information on arrests)

A Turkish court ruled on Sunday to formally arrest Yeniçağ newspaper columnist Murat Ağırel and Yeni Yaşam newspaper’s managing editor Ferhat Çelik and editor-in-chief Aydın Keser over reports on the funeral of a high-ranking Turkish soldier who died in Libya, news site T24 reported.

Last week, Ağırel was released on probation, banned from travelling abroad and forced to report to police stations after Turkish prosecutors in Istanbul launched legal proceedings against the journalist for exposing the identity of an official of the Turkish army. But the prosecutors rejected the decision and issued another arrest warrant for Ağırel.

Following an interrogation on Sunday, the Yeniçağ columnist was arrested by the court he turned himself into, T24 said. 

Meanwhile, Yeni Yaşam's Keser and Çelik were summoned to court on Friday over the same charges, but released hours later on parole. A prosecutor later objected to their release.

In a similar case, OdaTV news director Barış Terkoğlu and reporter Hülya Kılıç were arrested last week over exposing the identity of an intelligence official after the news outlet showed footage on Tuesday of the funeral in the western province of Manisa.

Turkey began deploying troops to Libya in January in a bid to support the U.N.-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli. Ankara seeks to protect the GNA from being overthrown by a rival faction, the Libyan National Army (LNA), which supports the eastern-based interim government in the port city of Tobruk.