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WSJ scribe convicted of ‘terror propaganda’

WASHINGTON

The Wall Street Journal has said one of its reporters has been convicted in Turkey and jailed in absentia on charges of publishing “terror propaganda” in an article on clashes between the Turkish army and outlawed Kurdish militants.

Ayla Albayrak, who is currently in New York, has been sentenced to two years and one month in prison, the Journal said on Tuesday.

The newspaper defended the article as balanced, and Albayrak said she would appeal. The ruling has not been confirmed by the authorities or the media in Turkey, where the case has never been publicised.

The August 2015 article reported on a clash in Silopi in the restive southeast between Turkish security forces and the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Following the collapse of a truce in summer of 2015, the Turkish army engaged with fierce clashes with the PKK as it moved to push their militants out of city centres in the region.

Rights activists claim excessive force was used but the government says the operations were essential to bring security to city centres.

Agence France-Presse