Turkish court orders release of German journalist

A Turkish court has ordered the release of German journalist and translator Mesale Tolu, according to Germany's Forei...

Posted: Dec 18, 2017 6:02 PM
Updated: Dec 18, 2017 6:02 PM

A Turkish court has ordered the release of German journalist and translator Mesale Tolu, according to Germany's Foreign Ministry.

Tolu, who was detained seven months ago, will be released under judicial control, ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr said Monday.

"Although Tolu is not allowed to leave Turkey, (this) is a tremendous relief," she said.

Tolu was accused of being a member of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party -- labeled in her indictment as an "armed terror organization" -- and with spreading "terrorist propaganda."

Human-rights organizations have described the charges as unfounded and part of a crackdown on free speech.

Tolu was facing up to 15 years in prison if convicted.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in a statement: "This is not only good news, but also a tremendous relief. I believe that all of us in Germany, including me, are pleased with the Mesale Tolu decision. This is not the end of the process, but a big first step has been taken."

'Worst jailer' of journalists

Turkey was named the "world's worst jailer" of journalists for the second year running in a recent report by the Committee to Protect Journalists. Seventy-three journalists are behind bars in the country, compared to 81 in 2016.

Following the release of Tolu, one German journalist -- Deniz Y-cel -- remains in jail in Turkey on political charges.

"We are following closely the proceedings against all Germans who are detained or charged for political reasons in Turkey," said Gabriel on Monday. "More Germans, such as Deniz Y-cel, remain in Turkish custody. We continue to offer our support."

Y-cel, a Turkish-German journalist for German newspaper "Die Welt," was arrested in February and held in solitary confinement for at least five months. He is accused of spreading propaganda for the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK, a Kurdish separatist group that the Turkish government has branded a terrorist organization.

Soon after the arrest, German-Turkish relations began to deteriorate rapidly, with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan likening the German government to that of Adolf Hitler and calling for Turks in Germany to reject the country's biggest parties in September's federal election.

German Chancellor Merkel responded to Turkey's stance with a call to pause negotiations for Turkey's accession to the European Union.

Relations have since begun to thaw, aided in October by the release on bail of human-rights trainer Peter Steudtner, who was arrested in Turkey in July.

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Cases: 628375

Reported Deaths: 34477
CountyCasesDeaths
Queens884967353
Kings873877498
Bronx627705028
Suffolk592732045
Nassau592382248
Westchester491021512
New York442183223
Erie23933785
Richmond222091126
Rockland21258692
Orange16555517
Monroe14338313
Onondaga10248222
Dutchess7021186
Albany5555148
Broome5201140
Oneida4655150
Niagara3599107
Ulster323898
Chemung295535
Putnam268264
Schenectady235357
Sullivan215648
Saratoga215120
Steuben171487
Rensselaer166651
Chautauqua151616
Oswego14366
Ontario125037
Tioga109549
Wayne108312
Cattaraugus105826
Tompkins10430
Columbia100556
Allegany98352
Cortland9792
Genesee9329
Madison89818
Cayuga8228
St. Lawrence7849
Greene67518
Livingston6719
Herkimer64512
Chenango62310
Orleans60457
Otsego5968
Warren57135
Wyoming5175
Jefferson5003
Fulton48428
Montgomery46616
Clinton4485
Washington44014
Lewis3459
Delaware3429
Schuyler2963
Essex27814
Seneca2765
Franklin2597
Yates2527
Schoharie1902
Hamilton421
Out of NY0120
Unassigned027
Utica
Clear
26° wxIcon
Hi: 43° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 26°
Oneonta
Clear
25° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 29°
Feels Like: 25°
Herkimer
Clear
26° wxIcon
Hi: 41° Lo: 31°
Feels Like: 26°
Thendara
Clear
26° wxIcon
Hi: 37° Lo: 30°
Feels Like: 26°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Stuff the Bus Locations
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve