ISTANBUL – A Turkish pop singer and 28 other people, mostly journalists, are being tried on terrorism charges for alleged links to a U.S.-based Muslim cleric blamed by Turkey for a failed coup attempt.
The trial of Atilla Tas and other suspects, many of whom worked for media companies associated with cleric Fethullah Gulen, began Monday in Istanbul. They face up to 10 years in prison if convicted of membership in "an armed terrorist organization."
Tas wrote a newspaper column and posted satirical tweets about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whose government has arrested 41,000 people in a massive crackdown after the insurrection on July 15.
Erdogan says the crackdown is necessary to restore stability to Turkey. His critics say many people have been unfairly targeted.
Gulen has denied involvement in the coup attempt.