Eighteen Turkish journalists have been charged with spreading terrorist propaganda for publishing a photo of a legal official held at gunpoint by far-left militants in March, local media said, heightening concerns about Turkey's press freedom record.
Prosecutors have asked for jail terms of up to 7 1/2 years each for staff from nine newspapers, accusing them in an indictment of trying to portray a terrorist organization "strong and capable enough for any action," according to the reports.
The picture of militants holding a gun to the head of Istanbul prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz, who was later killed in a shoot-out, spread widely online.
Turkish authorities initially ordered Facebook, Google and other sites to remove it, triggering accusations by academics and rights groups of an authoritarian crackdown.
Can DÃ¼ndar, editor-in-chief of the daily Cumhuriyet newspaper and one of the journalists charged, has said he had intended the photo to portray the dark and ugly face of terrorism.