A member of police special forces stands guard for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, August 4, 2017. (REUTERS/Murad Sezer)
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The controversial trial of 17 journalists and staff from the Turkish opposition daily Cumhuriyet began hearing witness testimony Monday, with a key witness dismissing charges that the accused are linked to terror groups.Five top figures from the newspaper, which has been deeply critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, remain in custody, though the remainder are now free while on trial.In a case that has caused an international outcry, the staff members are charged with supporting in their coverage three groups that Turkey considers terror groups.The Turkish government calls the movement the Fethullah Terror Group (FETO).Investigative reporter Ahmet Sik, who wrote a book exposing the past ties of members of the Turkish elite to the Gulen movement, has been held for 269 days, and accountant Emre Iper for 173 days.
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