A Turkish court on March 8 sentenced journalists Müyesser Yıldız and İsmail Düken to prison on charges of “revealing state secrets,” state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
Yıldız, the Ankara news editor for news website OdaTV, received a sentence of three years and seven months, whereas Dükel, the Ankara representative of broadcaster TELE1, received a sentence of one year and 15 days.
The court also sentenced Erdal Baran, a military officer, to seven years and six months in jail for “sharing state secrets” with Yıldız and Dükel.
The journalists' conviction concerns their reporting on Turkey's military involvement in Libya.
One article published in December of 2019 questioned which Turkish commanders met Khalifa Haftar, the commander of the Libyan National Army, while the second article published in January of 2020 gave details about a military officer who was sent to Libya to oversee Turkey's involvement there.
During the last hearing of the case on March 8, the Ankara 26th Heavy Penal Court asked the journalists if they had anything to say before the announcement of the ruling.
Yıldız said, “This case is a revenge case,” while Dükel referred to the case as being a “political one.”
Yıldız, Dükel and Baran were detained in June of 2020 as part of a probe launched by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office. While the court officially arrested Yıldız and Baran on June 12, 2020, it ruled for the release of Dükel pending trial.
After spending five months in pre-trial detention, Yıldız was released from prison on Nov. 9, 2020.