0609 GMT April 08, 2020
The event will take place on Wednesday outside the Silivri prison, located in the Silivri district of Istanbul Province.
The vigil is part of the “Wait for Hope” campaign launched in early December in support of Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dundar and the paper’s Ankara representative, Erdem Gul.
Representatives from the International Press Institute, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the International Federation of Journalists, the European Federation of Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and PEN International will be among those attending Wednesday’s event.
The press bodies had asked for a meeting with the jailed reporters, but Turkey’s Ministry of Justice had rejected their request.
Dundar and Gul were arrested in October last year for exposing Ankara’s arms delivery to the militants active in Syria in their reports. The pair are accused of spying and divulging state secrets.
A group of representatives from the Istanbul Chamber of Pharmacists took part in a similar vigil on Tuesday.
“Unfortunately, we live in a time where it is not those who send arms to terrorists, but instead those who report news of this that are thrown in prison. This is an example of a blow to press freedom. We want this to be the last, and we want our imprisoned journalist friends to be freed immediately.” Said Cenap Sarıalioglu, the chamber's president.
In late May 2015, Cumhuriyet posted on its website footage showing trucks belonging to Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MIT) carrying weapons to the Takfiri terror groups operating in neighboring Syria. The Cumhuriyet video also shows trucks of the MIT being inspected by security officers.
The daily reported the trucks were carrying some 1,000 mortar shells, hundreds of grenade launchers and more than 80,000 rounds of ammunition for light and heavy weapons.
Turkey has time and again been accused of being one of the main supporters of terrorist groups wreaking havoc in Syria.
The Turkish government has also been criticized for clamping down on journalists and sentencing them to long prison terms. More than 30 journalists are currently imprisoned in the Middle Eastern country.