April 14, 2021 – 23:35
A court in Turkey on Wednesday ordered the release of journalist and writer Ahmet Altan, who spent more than four years in prison. He was accused of involvement in the failed 2016 coup attempt.
Altan had denied the allegations. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in a ruling on Tuesday demanded the release of the 71-year-old and accused Turkey of violating his civil rights. Altan’s lawyer, Figen Calikusu, told AFP that the writer was released from a prison on the outskirts of Istanbul, hours after the verdict was announced.
Altan has been the winner of several awards in the field of literature.
He was jailed after writing columns in support of Kurdish rights and criticizing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He was sentenced to life in prison but the Turkish Supreme Court overturned the decision.
He was sentenced to 10 years and six months in prison for “knowingly supporting a terrorist organization” that was involved in the 2016 coup attempt.
Tens of thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey against the movement of US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen since the 2016 coup attempt.
Ankara says the attempt to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was ordered by Gulen, but he strongly denies the accusation.