- Title: Award winning novelist and linguist released from Turkish jail pending trial
- Date: 29th December 2016
- Summary: ISTANBUL, TURKEY (DECEMBER 29, 2016) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) ***WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** VARIOUS OF PEOPLE GATHERING OUTSIDE BAKIRKOY PRISON COMPOUND SIGN OF ISTANBUL'S BAKIRKOY PRISON COMPOUND RELATIVES HUGGING LINGUIST NECMIYE ALPAY MEDIA PEOPLE HUGGING ALPAY AND CHANTING (Turkish): "FREE PRESS CANNOT BE SILENCED" MEDIA (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) LINGUIST, NECMIYE ALPAY, SAYING: "This was meant to be… It should have never happened... That's how I responded to this... I said finally. But we felt in heaven inside because people kept guard (for our freedom) and they were calling on all parts of Turkey. I celebrate you all. I am proud of you." MAN HUGGING AWARD-WINNING NOVELIST ASLI ERDOGAN ERDOGAN HUGGING PEOPLE (SOUNDBITE) (Turkish) AWARD-WINNING NOVELIST, ASLI ERDOGAN, SAYING: "This (the arrest of journalists and pro-Kurdish politicians) was reverberating badly in jail. The difference between inside and outside is diminishing. When you go home tonight, there is no guarantee you will make it to tomorrow." (REPORTER SAYING: TODAY JOURNALIST AHMET SIK WAS DETAINED) "I am not surprised. And this morning Aysel Tugluk... (pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party lawmaker arrested pending trial). I have a bad feeling that we can be imprisoned and released anytime." MEDIA VARIOUS OF ERDOGAN HUGGING PEOPLE
- Embargoed: 13th January 2017 18:40
- Keywords: Turkey trial novelist linguist PKK Asli Erdogan Necmiye Alpay jail released
- Location: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- City: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Topics: Crime/Law/Justice
- Reuters ID: LVA0015EXT553
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: EDIT CONTAINS NIGHT SHOTS
Award-winning novelist Asli Erdogan and linguist Necmiye Alpay were released from prison on Thursday (December 29) pending trial. The two had been in jail since August on charges of belonging to a terrorist organisation and harming national unity.
Alpay and Asli Erdogan, who is not related to the Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan, both pleaded not guilty.
On her release, Alpay said her detention should never have happened.
"But we felt in heaven inside because people kept guard (for our freedom) and they were calling on all parts of Turkey," Alpay said.
"I celebrate you all. I am proud of you," she said to her supporters outside Bakirkoy prison in Istanbul.
Asli Erdogan said on her release that the arrests of journalists and pro-Kurdish politicians was "reverberating badly in jail".
She is a member of the advisory board for the Ozgur Gundem newspaper, which was closed by court order on Tuesday (December 27) on the grounds of spreading propaganda of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which is deemed a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and European Union.
"The difference between inside and outside is diminishing. When you go home tonight, there is no guarantee you will make it to tomorrow," Asli Erdogan said.
At least 81 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), and more than 130 media outlets have been shut since July. Most of the detained journalists and writers are accused of spreading terrorist propaganda.
A prominent Turkish journalist Ahmet Sik said on Thursday he was being detained by authorities over a Twitter statement he made. An opposition lawmaker who spoke to him said the reporter was being accused of terrorist propaganda.
Over 110,000 civil servants, police, academics and others have been detained, suspended or dismissed over suspected links to Fethullah Gulen, a U.S.-based cleric accused by Ankara of orchestrating the coup. Around 40,000 have been formally arrested.
The scale of the crackdown has alarmed Turkey's Western allies and foreign investors, but Ankara says it is justified by the threat posed by Gulen's network, which it says is a terrorist organisation. Gulen, who lives in the United States, denies the charges.
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