Russia, Iran, Turkey to meet on Syrian constitutional committee — UN

Photo showing UN mediator for Syria Staffan de Mistura reacts after a news conference at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland October 6, 2016. (Reuters)
Updated 13 June 2018
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Russia, Iran, Turkey to meet on Syrian constitutional committee — UN

GENEVA: Senior officials from Iran, Russia and Turkey will meet in Geneva on June 18-19 for consultations with the United Nations about setting up a constitutional committee for Syria, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said in a statement on Wednesday.
He will invite other countries for relevant discussions in due course, the statement said. De Mistura is tasked with picking membership of the committee, which is expected to rewrite the Syrian constitution, paving the way for new elections as part of a post-war political reform.


Turkish journalist serving life gets another 6 years in prison

Updated 13 min 23 sec ago
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Turkish journalist serving life gets another 6 years in prison

  • Nazli Ilicak was sentenced to life in prison along with five other journalists last February

ANKARA: A Turkish court on Tuesday sentenced a prominent journalist serving a life sentence to almost six additional years in prison for leaking information deemed secret by the government, the state-owned Anadolu news agency said.

Nazli Ilicak was sentenced to life in prison along with five other journalists last February for aiding plotters of a 2016 failed coup attempt. All six of the journalists, including Ilicak, have denied the charges.

On Tuesday, the court sentenced Ilicak to five years and 10 months in prison in a separate case where she was charged with “sharing information that needed to remain secret for the security of the state,” Anadolu said.

Ilicak, a journalist, columnist and former lawmaker, had also been sentenced to 14 months in prison last year for insulting the president, a crime punishable by up to four years in prison in Turkey.

Along with Ilicak, two prominent journalist brothers — Ahmet and Mehmet Altan — were sentenced to life in prison last February. The case had underscored deep concern about press freedom and the independence of the judiciary in Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The government blames followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen for masterminding the coup, and has waged a crackdown on suspected members of his network since then. Gulen has denied involvement in the coup and condemned it.

Since the abortive putsch, some 77,000 people have been jailed and more than 150,000 sacked or suspended from their jobs in the military, public and private sectors.

Rights groups and Turkey’s western allies have voiced alarm over the scale of the crackdown, saying Erdogan is using the coup as a pretext to quash dissent.

The government, however, rejects the criticism and says the measures are necessary due to the gravity of the security threat it faces.