World Bulletin / News Desk
A criminal court in Istanbul late Friday remanded in custody two employees of Turkish daily Sozcu on charges of assisting Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), according to court records seen by Anadolu Agency.
The newspaper's website manager, Mediha Olgun and its correspondent in western Izmir city, Gokmen Ulu were held by the court as part of a probe into the terrorist group's media links.
The daily's financial manager Yonca Yucekaleli was released, the records showed.
The court dropped the charge of "membership to a terrorist organization" against Olgun and Ulu, but upheld the charge of "willfully assisting a terrorist organization" for both, and "facilitating physical assault and assassination against the president" for Ulu.
Hours before the July 15 coup attempt was launched, Ulu wrote a report titled "SOZCU tracks down Erdogan", pinpointing President Erdogan's location, accompanied by photos.
Even the president's aide-de-camp did not know his exact address and was trying to get in touch with presidential officials to find out, the court said.
Erdogan, who was on vacation at a Marmaris hotel on that day, told CNN international last September that he would have been killed by a team of special operations forces had he stayed there 15 minutes longer.
The court heard three unidentified witnesses from the media who said Sozcu owner Burak Akbay had FETO links abroad. Akbay could not be arrested as he is currently outside Turkey.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen are accused of orchestrating the defeated July 2016 coup, which left 249 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara has said FETO is also behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police and judiciary, and has also accused it of infiltrating other countries through educational institutions, among others.