Turkey opposition journalist joins free press protest after release

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Turkey opposition journalist joins free press protest after release

Istanbul: Turkish opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet's chairman Akin Atalay on Thursday joined a protest for free press and justice outside an Istanbul court, a day after he was released after serving over 500 days in prison.

The contentious case, seen as a test of press freedom under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, saw a court Wednesday hand out multiple prison sentences to over a dozen Cumhuriyet staff for "aiding and abetting terror groups without being a member."

They however remain free pending appeal.

Atalay, who was the only journalist remaining behind bars as others were gradually freed during the trial, demanded justice outside Istanbul's main court Caglayan.

"I am currently free but it is not over," Atalay told AFP.

"We are one more now. The guards of justice here have won one more person but others will join in gradually," he said.

Cumhuriyet, Turkey's oldest daily, has been a fierce critic of Erdogan, and a target of a series of legal actions which seen its staff often land in court. APP/AFP