Maniacal Erdogan threatens country's highest court over decision to release Cumhuriyet journalists

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has fired a fresh broadside at the country's top court over the release of two journalists, saying the court's own existence could be in doubt if it did the same thing again.


The Constitutional Court, one of the few Turkish public institutions not fully under Mr Erdogan's control, last month allowed the release of the Cumhuriyet newspaper's editor-in-chief Can Dundar and Ankara bureau chief Erdem Gul after three months in jail.

The decision to free the pair, detained since November on charges of revealing state secrets over a report alleging the Government tried to deliver arms to Islamist rebels in Syria, infuriated Erdogan, who said he had "no respect for it". On Friday he used a speech in the southwestern city of Burdur to renew his attack on the court.

"I hope the Constitutional Court will not try to repeat this in a way that would call into question its existence and its legitimacy," Erdogan said. He accused the court of giving a judgement that was "against the country and its people".

The Cumhuriyet report sparked a furore, fuelling speculation about the Erdogan Government's role in the Syrian conflict and its alleged dealings with Islamist rebels.

The arrest of the journalists also amplified concerns about press freedom under Erdogan, who had personally warned Mr Dundar he would "pay a price" over the front-page story.

The pair are still facing trial on the charges, and possibly life sentences, and Mr Dundar has vowed to use the hearings due to start on March 25 to "put the crimes of the state on trial".

In what was seen as a fresh blow to press freedom in Turkey, last week the Zaman newspaper, which had been highly critical of the government, was seized by authorities.

The newspaper has been closely linked with Erdogan's enemy, exiled Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen, accused by Ankara of running an organisation seeking to overthrow the Government.

We are now seeing the beginning of the end for the genocidal erDOGan and his fascist AKP

ABC.net.au/lateline

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By: Jake_Sully (2018.14)

Tags: Syria, Turkey, Erdogan,

Location: Turkey