Turkish court charges Austrian journalist with terror offences

A Turkish court charged Austrian journalist Max Zirngast and two Turkish nationals with membership of a terrorist organisation, Cumhuriyet newspaper reported on Friday.

Zirngast has been living in Turkey since 2015 and works for Austrian left-wing magazine ‘re:volt’. He was detained last week by anti-terror police.

Prosecutors said Zirngast was a member of a Turkish leftist terror organisation and presented as evidence his volunteer work for "Campus Witches”, a group of female college students fighting against violence and harassment of women at universities, and an environmental group, "Nature's Kids”.

“I am a socialist. I support universal values,” Zirngast said in court. He denied any affiliation to a terrorist organisation and said he was about to buy a house to permanently settle in Turkey.

Zirngast was also questioned for possessing books of Turkish communist author and politician Hikmet Kıvılcımlı. 

“I prepared a presentation on Hikmet Kıvılcımlı, while I was studying at Middle East Technical University. That is the reason why I have his books in my house,” Zirngast said. 

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