Turkey's highest court has ruled that authorities violated the rights of two prominent journalists who were jailed on terror and espionage charges, paving the way for their release.

Constitutional Court justices ruled Thursday in favor of Cumhuriyet newspaper's editor-in-chief Can Dundar and the paper's Ankara representative, Erdem Gul. The two were arrested in November for their reports on alleged government arms smuggling to Syria. The court said the journalists' personal and media rights were violated.

In May, Cumhuriyet published what it said were images of Turkish trucks carrying ammunition to Syrian militants. The paper said the images proved that Turkey was smuggling arms to rebels — a claim the government rejects.

Prosecutors were seeking life imprisonment for the two. Their arrests followed a complaint filed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.