Veteran Turkish journalist sentenced for disclosing classified military documents

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Seventy-four-year-old Turkish journalist Nazlı Ilıcak, who has been behind bars since a 2016 failed coup attempt and who has already received an aggravated life sentence on coup-related charges, received another sentence of five years, 10 months, this time for publishing confidential material, the Diken news website reported on Tuesday.

Arising from a case launched against her based on an article she wrote about an allegedly al-Qaeda-affiliated group within the military called “Tahşiyeciler,” Ilıcak was accused of publishing a secret document from the records of the Turkish General Staff in the Bugün daily in January 2015.

During the trial, Ilıcak said she had received the material via Twitter, stressing that revealing it falls within the boundaries of journalism.

Imprisoned since July 2016, Ilıcak had received an aggravated life sentence in February 2018 on charges of membership in terrorist groups and attempting to overthrow the government and undermine the constitutional order.

She had also been sentenced to one year, two months in December 2018 for openly insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in a tweet she had posted in February 2016.

Turkey is the world’s biggest jailer of journalists, ranking 157th out of 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters Without Borders.

Since the abortive coup in July 2016, Turkey has jailed many journalists, among thousands of people from other walks of life including academics and human rights activists for alleged ties to the coup or on terrorism-related charges.

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