Turkey convicts Wall Street Journal reporter on terror charge

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with Serbia's President Aleksandar Vucic (not in the picture) after their meeting in Belgrade, Serbia, Oct. 10, 2017.

REUTERS

ANKARA -- The Wall Street Journal says one of its reporters has been convicted in Turkey of terrorist propaganda and has been sentenced to 2 years and one month in prison.

The paper said late Tuesday that Ayla Albayrak, who has dual Finnish and Turkish citizenship, would appeal her conviction on the charge of engaging in propaganda supporting outlawed Kurdish rebels.

Albayrak's conviction stemmed from an article she wrote in 2015 on a conflict between Kurdish militants and government forces in Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeast.

More than 100 journalists have been imprisoned in Turkey and some 200 media outlets were shut down as part of a government crackdown that has targeted alleged members of a movement led by a U.S.-based cleric blamed for last year's failed coup, as well as opposition lawmakers and activists.

Albayrak's conviction comes as Turkey continues to hold one U.S. Consulate worker accused of espionage, and seeks another on the same accusations.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused both men on Tuesday of being an "internal threat."

U.S. ambassador to Turkey John Bass said Wednesday that the U.S. government had not yet received any official communication from Turkey as to why local stuff members have been arrested. He called that lack of communication "quite unusual".