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17 Turkish journalists face terrorism trial

Seventeen journalists and managers at Turkish opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet went on trial yesterday on charges of aiding a terrorist organisation.

If found guilty this week, they could face sentences of up to 43 years in jail. Ten have already been in pre-trial detention for almost nine months. At the Istanbul courthouse a large crowd of supporters released balloons and called for their release.

There was chaos as they tried to enter the court for the start of the trial. As the trial got under way in the packed courtroom, veteran Cumhuriyet columnist Kadri Gursel told the court that all the allegations against him were false and methods used to build the case against him illegal.

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