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Editor's release from prison postponed for years to come

(Antenna-TR/IFEX) - Erdal Güler, the owner and editor of the "Revolutionary Democracy" periodical, has been in prison for two years on charges of writing articles praising organisations such as the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the Maoist Communist Party (MKP). He was arrested on 26 December 2007 and sent to the Amasya Prison. Güler's release had been expected in December 2009, but was postponed.

A certificate indicating the "date of expiration" of the sentence, which was given to Güler's lawyer by the Kocaeli Prosecutor's Office, shows that the editor's release is not scheduled for the near future. The Prosecutor's Office stated that a fine of several thousand lira issued against Güler was changed to a prison sentence and, as such, a new release date of 6 September 2014 was set. Güler could be released on probation by 1 November 2012.

Güler was charged in numerous cases for "making propaganda for the PKK or MKP" and, because any additional fines he may face could be switched to jail terms, new rulings on outstanding cases could further postpone his release date.

Güler has been brought to trial at several Istanbul High Criminal Courts and, as of 26 October 2009, had an accumulated prison sentence of 31 months.

Güler has been charged, mainly under the Anti-Terror Law, with "praising crime and criminals" relating to a message, entitled "We commemorate Mahir Çayan and his comrades with respect", published in the April 2005 issue of the "Özgür Düsün" magazine, of which he is the editor.

Güler was also charged in relation to another article, which commemorated communist leader Ibrahim Kaypakkaya, who was killed in 1973. The article was published in the 1-16 May 2006 issue of the "Revolutionary Democracy" magazine.

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