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Four Turkish Scholars Go On Trial In Terror Propaganda Case

Four Turkish academics accused of spreading "terrorist propaganda" went on trial in Istanbul in the latest in a spate of court cases highlighting growing restrictions on free speech in Turkey.

The four academics were among a group of more than 1,000 colleagues who in January signed a declaration criticizing military operations against Kurdish rebels.

The four were arrested after holding a news conference in which they stood by the declaration.

In a separate courtroom, the closed-door trial resumed of two prominent opposition journalists accused of espionage and aiding a terrorist organization for their reports on alleged government arms smuggling to Syria.

Riot police stood guard outside the courthouse in central Istanbul as protesters held up placards reading "Freedom for the academics" and "Freedom for the pencils."

Based on reporting by AFP and AP