Turkey Allows German Journalist Held On Terror-Related Charges To Leave

An Istanbul court has lifted a travel ban on German journalist Mesale Tolu, who has been held in Turkey on terrorism-related charges, her supporters said early on August 20.

Her support group, called Freiheit fuer Mesale Tolu (Freedom for Mesale Tolu), said, however, that they have been told her husband, Suat Corlu, who is facing similar charges, must remain in Turkey.

A trial for the 33-year-old Tolu, journalist and translator for leftist news agency ETHA, will still be conducted as scheduled on October 16, the group said.

The move reverses a decision in April by an Istanbul court, which had ordered that the travel ban be kept in place until her trial.

She faces charges of terrorist propaganda and membership in the extreme-left MLKP party, which has been designated a terror organization by Turkish authorities. She has claimed "harassment" by the Turkish judicial system.

She was charged in April 2017 along with 17 Turkish defendants.

Tolu, who was born to Turkish parents in Germany, was released from custody on December 18 but had been prohibited from leaving the country. It was not immediately known if she has already left Turkey or was still in the country.

Turkey has made several moves recently to improve relations with Europe, especially Germany, as its ties with the United States have deteriorated.

Washington has imposed sanctions on Turkey and threatened more unless Ankara allowed U.S. pastor Andrew Brunson to leave the country.

Brunson is being tried on espionage and terrorism-related charges that he rejects. He was detained in October 2016 and was moved from detention to house arrest in July.

He faces up to 35 years in prison.

Based on reporting by dpa and DW