A court in Istanbul has released two Turkish journalists under judicial control who have been accused of inciting an armed uprising against the Turkish government.
Nokta Magazine executive Cevheri Guven and Editor-in-Chief Murat Capan had been on trial since Nov. 3 after their publication's 24th issue showed a picture of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on the cover with the headline "The beginning of Turkey’s civil war".
The Istanbul 14th High Criminal Court on Tuesday ordered the release of Guven and Capan, but placed an international travel ban on the duo, who were also required to visit a police station once a week. The controversial edition of the magazine was published a day after the Nov. 1 general election saw the Justice and Development (AK) Party winning the majority in parliament.
The journalists were accused of trying to sabotage the general election, provoking certain segments of society against the Turkish president and government and inciting an armed uprising through their biased magazine coverage. The prosecutor had demanded at least 15 years imprisonment for each journalist, who denied all charges against them.
Nokta editors arrested by İstanbul court over post-election cover
Nokta magazine Editor-in-Chief Cevheri Güven and Managing Editor Murat Çapan, who were detained at the İstanbul Police Department after the latest issue of the publication was pulled from the shelves on Monday, were arrested by the İstanbul 8th Penal Court of Peace on Tuesday under Article 313 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) for inciting the public to armed conflict.
Nokta, which is known for its critical stance toward the government, announced the decision on its website, saying the police had confiscated all the magazines at its headquarters and started collecting issues at distribution centers.
Nokta's cover features a picture of President Erdoğan and says Nov. 2 is the “start of Turkey's civil war.”
After their detention at their offices on Monday, Çapan and Güven were taken to a hospital for a medical check-up and were later brought to the İstanbul Police Department where they were kept in a detention cell.