Turkey rearrests journalist Ahmet Altan eight days after release | News | DW | 12.11.2019
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Turkey rearrests journalist Ahmet Altan eight days after release

Prominent Turkish journalist Ahmet Altan was among those detained in a government crackdown following the failed coup attempt of 2016. He was rearrested after an appeal of the ruling that set him free.

Turkish police rearrested journalist Ahmet Altan on Tuesday just days after his release, following a court order.

A warrant was issued by an Istanbul court to take Altan back to prison after the chief public prosecutor successfully appealed the earlier decision to release him, according to Turkish state news agency Anadolu.

Istanbul's police force detained Altan at his home in the Kadikoy district of the city, said Anadolu as well as rights groups Amnesty International and Article 19.

The journalist and novelist was released from prison together with fellow well-known journalist Nazli Ilicak on November 4.

The court previously overturned life sentences issued to the journalists on terror-related charges, and convicted them on a lesser charge of "aiding a terrorist organization."

The sentences were reduced to 10.5 years for Altan and nearly nine to Ilicak, and they were released on parole.

Both Ilicak and Altan were required to regularly report to police and could not leave the country.

As yet there has been no warrant issued for the re-arrest of Ilicak.

The Article 19 rights group reacted via Twitter, writing "no words can describe this injustice after just one week of freedom."

Writing in the UK-based Guardian newspaper following his release Altan stated "I write this as I await the decision a judge will make on the appeal of the prosecutor who objected to my release — they may send me back to prison."

Read more: Reporters in Turkey adopt a new beat: Imprisoned journalists

Journalists arrested after failed 2016 coup

The Turkish government launched a major crackdown on journalists including Altan and Ilicak after a failed coup attempt in 2016

The government alleged many journalists had links to the Gulen movement, led by a US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen, and who the Turkish government has claimed was behind the coup.

Turkey ranked 157th out of 180 in the 2019 world press freedom index.

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km/se (dpa, AFP)

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