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Turkish Journalist Gursel Released From Jail, Remains On Trial

Kadri Gursel (center) speaks to the media after his release from prison in Istanbul on September 26.

Prominent Turkish journalist Kadri Gursel has been released from jail amid a trial of staff from the Cumhuriyet opposition newspaper, but four other detained suspects remained in custody following a court decision.

Gursel was greeted by relatives and colleagues upon release from a jail outside Istanbul late on September 25.

"There is nothing to celebrate because a number of Cumhuriyet journalists are facing unfair and baseless accusations," said Gursel, who was jailed for 11 months and remains on trial. "Their freedoms have been taken away."

In a case that has sparked international criticism, 17 Cumhuriyet staff members are charged with supporting terrorism through their coverage of three groups that Turkey considers terror organizations.

These are the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the ultra-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), and the movement of Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based cleric Ankara accuses of ordering the July 2016 coup attempt.

Supporters say Cumhuriyet is being punished for being one of the few opposition voices in the Turkish media.

Press freedom group P24 says there are 171 journalists behind bars in Turkey, most of whom were arrested under the state of emergency imposed after the failed coup.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters