Turkey Continues Detention of 2 Journalists despite Court Order for their Release

Entrance of the Silivri prison complex

"With this decision, the Constitutional Court has crossed over its legislative and constitutional limits", Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag wrote on Twitter.

If the ruling is not implemented, it would show that the Constitution Court no longer holds ultimate jurisdiction, he said.

The pair, accused of membership in a terror organization, were expected to be released after the decision reaches the lower court.

An Istanbul prosecutor sought in December past year aggravated life sentences for each of the six suspects in the case probing the "media wing" of the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ), including, Altan, his brother Mehmet Altan, Nazlı Ilıcak and three other suspects now under arrest who face aggravated jail terms for "violating the constitution" and "having prior knowledge of the coup".

Turkish authorities have fired, jailed or detained more than 150,000 people since the attempted putsch, with thousands of judges and prosecutors among them.

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Around 160 journalists have been jailed, according to the Turkish Journalists Association.

Numerous jailed reporters have been charged with spreading propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) or the network of US -based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara accuses of masterminding the abortive putsch. He has denied orchestrating the coup and condemned it. "It should carry out its mission and end victimisation".

Erdogan has said that some journalists helped nurture terrorists through their writing, and says the crackdown is needed to ensure stability in Turkey, a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member that borders Syria, Iraq and Iran.

"Terror doesn't form by itself", he said last week at a joint news conference with his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron. "These gardeners are those people viewed as thinkers".

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