Turkish authorities release former opposition lawmaker on probation

Former main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Eren Erdem was released on probation on Thursday after spending over a year in prison, independent Turkish news site T24 reported.

Eren Erdem was detained in June 2018 over alleged links to the Gülen movement, which Ankara designates as a terrorist organisation and accuses of masterminding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.

Erdem was put on trial over his work during his time as the editor-in-chief of Karşı newspaper.

The former lawmaker was acquitted from charges of “revealing the identity of a secret witness” and “violating the confidentiality of a criminal investigation," but sentenced to prison for "aiding a terrorist organisation purposely and willingly without being involved in the hierarchy of the organisation".

The former lawmaker has been freed due to time he served during the trial, but the Istanbul court imposed a travel ban on Erdem.

In January, a Turkish court ordered the release of Erdem, however, following the ruling, Istanbul Chief Prosecutor Office objected to the release decision and a new arrest order was issued by a higher court.

"Is this your final decision?" Erdem said on Twitter following his release on Thursday.