Turkish prosecutors have demanded up to 158 years in jail for OdaTV’s Editor-in-Chief Barış Pehlivan and News Director Barış Terkoğlu over a book they co-authored named “Metastaz 2: Cendere.”
A total of 14 separate investigations have been launched against the two journalists, based on criminal complaints filed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's lawyer Ahmet Özel, Erdoğan's former lawyer Mustafa Doğan İnal and prosecutor Gürkan Kütük, said OdaTV on Dec. 31.
Prosecutors have sought up to 63 years in jail for Pehlivan, whereas up to 95 years for Terkoğlu, totaling 158 years.
Lawyer Ruşen Gültekin told OdaTV that Terkoğlu and Pehlivan testified with regards to the charges at the Istanbul prosecutor's office on Dec. 29. He said that the investigations launched against the journalists show that “freedom of speech no longer exists in Turkey.”
“As we indicated at the prosecutor's office, what needs to be done is not investigating Barış Terkoğlu and Barış Pehlivan, who wrote this book within the framework of freedom of speech and freedom of press, but instead investigating the claims in the book and clarifying them in front of the supreme Turkish justice through a transparent trial,” Gültekin said.
The book "Metastaz-2: Cendere" exposes various religious communities having infiltrated the state and touches upon the shady practices within the state and judiciary.
Earlier this year, both Pehlivan and Terkoğlu stood a trial over a report on the funeral of an intelligence officer who was killed in Libya.
A court in September sentenced Pehlivan to three years for the relevant report, whereas acquitted Terkoğlu of all charges. Following the ruling, Pehlivan was released from custody pending the appeals process.