A man holds a copy of Cumhuriyet opposition daily newspaper reading "We want Justice" as journalists and people march to the courthouse from Cumhuriyet daily's headquarters on July 24, 2017 in Istanbul. AFP / OZAN KOSE
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Directors and journalists from one of Turkey's most respected opposition newspapers went trial Monday after spending over eight months behind bars in a case which has raised new alarm over press freedoms under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.The opposition fears the state of emergency has been used to go after anyone who dares defy the government and the trial is seen as a test for press freedoms under Erdogan.According to the P24 press freedom group, there are 166 journalists behind bars in Turkey, most of whom were arrested under the state of emergency.Erdogan, however, insisted in an interview earlier this month there were just "two real journalists" behind bars in Turkey. The 17 are charged with supporting in the newspaper's writings no less than three groups considered by Turkey as terror outfits -- the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the ultra-left Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C) and Gulen's movement, which Ankara calls the Fethullah Terror Organisation (FETO).
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