Jun 27 2018

Jailed Turkish journalist Mehmet Altan released

An Istanbul court of appeals has ordered the release of journalist and academic Mehmet Altan despite him previously having been given a life sentence, Turkish state news agency Anadolu said.

His release is conditional on his not leaving the country and checking in with police once a week.

Altan was among six journalists including his brother Ahmet Altan and columnist Nazlı Ilıcak given life sentences in February on charges of being part of the media arm of the July 2016 failed coup attempt.

The decision was widely criticised, including by the United States, which characterised the penalties as “criminalising journalism”.

Altan, along with fellow journalist Şahin Alpay, had previously twice won rulings in favour of their release from Turkey’s Constitutional Court, and twice these rulings were overturned by a lower court in violation of the usual judicial hierarchy.