Turkish newspaper reporter sentenced to over 2 years jail

Protesters hold signs reading "We are here for Cumhuriyet" in Istanbul in 2016 in front of opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper, whose judicial correspondent has been sentenced to two years in prison

An Istanbul court on Wednesday sentenced the judicial correspondent of the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper to over two years in prison, the latest jail term for a reporter amid growing concerns over press freedom.

Canan Coskun was sentenced by the Istanbul criminal court to two years and three months jail for her reporting on an investigation into lawyers defending left-wing activists, the newspaper said.

Coskun, who has been caught up in numerous legal cases in recent months, was convicted of presenting as a "target" state officials who were involved in the "fight against terror".

Amnesty International said she had named a prosecutor and witnesses in the case against lawyers who were defending two hunger-striking activists sacked from their jobs in teaching under Turkey's state of emergency.

The pair -- Nuriye Gulmen and Semih Ozakca -- eventually ended a 10-month hunger strike earlier this year after being released from detention.

Lawmaker Sezgin Tanrikulu of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), who was present in court, described the verdict as "another condemnation against press freedom."

Coskun, who has worked as court reporter since 2013 for Cumhuriyet, denied the charges, saying she was only doing her job.

Turkish media cited Coskun as saying she would not be intimidated by the verdict, saying "on the contrary what is needed is more journalism and I am going to carry on in this way."

Cumhuriyet is one of the few remaining newspapers in Turkey to oppose President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on a daily basis and has repeatedly hit trouble over its reporting.

Thirteen journalists and staff from Cumhuriyet were given jail sentences of up to seven-and-a-half years in late April on terror-linked charges, which critics said was punishment for the paper's anti-Erdogan stance.

They are all however still free pending appeal. There was no immediate indication that Coskun was herself being imprisoned pending her own appeal.

The cases set off alarm bells over freedom of press in Turkey under the two-year state of emergency imposed after the failed coup that has seen dozens of journalists arrested.

The state of emergency came to an end earlier Thursday but activists fear that the authorities will continue to wield similar powers.

According to the P24 press freedom group, there are 178 journalists detained in Turkey, most of them jailed under the state of emergency.