A court has ordered the release of two renowned journalists, while acquitting another one in a case related to the July 15, 2016 failed coup attempt.
Ahmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak, who were jailed on Sept. 23, 2016 and July 30, 2016, respectively, were released from prison late on Nov. 4 following a retrial.
The court acquitted Altan’s brother Mehmet Altan, who was being tried without arrest, due to lack of evidence.
The court had previously sentenced the two journalists to life imprisonment for aiding the network of U.S.-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, widely believed to have been behind the botched coup of July 2016.
They were also accused of attempting to abolish the constitutional order.
Turkey’s high court overruled the life sentences against the three journalists in July, sending the file back for re-trial.
Altan and Ilıcak had denied the charges against them.
In the verdict on Nov. 4, the court sentenced Ahmet Altan to 10 years and six months in jail and Ilıcak to eight years and nine months over “aiding the organization,” but then ruled that they could be released as they had already served more than three years behind bars.
The two journalists have been released under judicial control.
“I felt sad when I first heard about my release because the other’s weren’t freed. There are thousands of innocent guys inside,” Ahmet Altan told journalists upon being released from Silivri Prison.
The prominent journalist also said that he missed looking at the sky the most.
“My years weren’t lost. I didn’t let my years be lost. I wrote books. I don’t lose my years that easily,” he added.
Upon being released, Ilıcak said, “May God save those left in prison. Please don’t let them be forgotten.”