Turkish court orders journalists' detentions to continue

Turkish

Those include German journalist Deniz Yucel, a correspondent from Die Welt newspaper, who has sat in detention for almost a year and who has also submitted multiple complaints to the constitutional court.

A Turkish penal court ordered on Thursday that two journalists stay in jail, after a top court earlier in the day asked that they be freed, Turkish media said on Thursday. Hours later, penal courts chose to keep them in detention.The reversal by the lower court may stir further worries about media freedom and judicial independence in Turkey in the aftermath of a widespread crackdown that followed the July 2016 failed coup.Authorities have shut about 130 media outlets since the coup.

Anadolu Agency said the Constitutional Court ruled Thursday that the rights of Sahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan had been infringed by their continued imprisonment — a decision that could pave the way for the release of other journalists. They have denied all the charges, Xinhua reported.

Sezgin Tanrikulu, a lawmaker from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), said on Twitter that the penal courts' refusal to release the two was not legal and that they were being falsely imprisoned.

Altan is a professor of economics and frequent commentator in liberal Turkish media.

The İstanbul 13th High Criminal Court has reportdely refused to comply with the Constitutional Court on a recent release judgement for 73-year-old columnist Şahin Alpay.

"Whether we like the Constitutional Court's ruling or not, the authority that will make the right call is the first instance court", Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, referring to the local court.

"When ruling on individual applications, the Constitutional Court. can not act like a super appeals court and can not make rulings like such courts", Bozdag wrote on Twitter.

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