By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) lawmakers urged on Wednesday the release of a jailed former colleague.
"We urgently admonish appeals court and constitutional court. We want freedom for Eren Erdem," CHP deputy chairman Muharrem Erkek told reporters, along with more than 20 CHP lawmakers in the parliament.
Noting that Erdem has been held in Silivri Prison in Istanbul for 467 days, Erkek said: "For what? For revenge and for a political case. Not rights, justice, fairness, but Eren Erdem's conscience is clear. Eren Erdem is peaceful. Because he is not guilty."
Erkek also claimed that Erdem was arrested for "sharing realities with the public."
"He has been arrested, because ha was a journalist before being elected as lawmaker," he noted.
Erdem was charged with illegally distributing voice recordings during a coup attempt by the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) on Dec. 17-25, 2013.
Dec. 17-25, 2013 saw a graft probe and the detention of prominent figures in a FETO plot to overthrow Turkey’s elected government.
FETO is accused of attempting to overthrow the Turkish government in late 2013 through the release of allegedly fabricated voice recordings linked to a corruption case.
Erdem was charged with armed terrorist group membership, willingly aiding a terrorist group, and violating the privacy of an investigation, and could face jail time up to roughly 22 years.
FETO and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.
Ankara also accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.