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Lawyers Appeal Turkish Court Ruling Against Journalists

Lawyers for a Turkish opposition newspaper have appealed a court ruling to detain two journalists on spying charges over a report that suggested Ankara had shipped weapons bound for rebels in Syria.

The lawyers for the Cumhuriyet newspaper said on November 30 the charges contradicted Turkey's constitution and laws.

A court in Istanbul on October 26 ordered the arrest of Cumhuriyet's editor-in-chief, Can Dundar, and the newspaper's Ankara correspondent, Erdem Gul.

The two face charges that include willingly helping a terrorist group and "divulging state secrets" after they released footage in May that allegedly showed the country's secret services sending weapons to rebels in Syria.

The images caused a political storm in Turkey with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowing revenge.

The Paris-based press rights group Reporters Without Borders has condemned proceedings against the journalists as "political persecution" and has urged the court to dismiss the charges.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, AP, and Hurriyet