Turkey lifts travel ban for German journalist Tolu

Turkey lifts travel ban for German journalist Tolu

ISTANBUL
Turkey lifts travel ban for German journalist Tolu

A Turkish court has lifted a travel ban on German journalist Meşale Tolu, who was arrested last year on terrorism-related charges, German Press Agency (DPA) reported on Aug. 20, citing a support group. 

However, the trial against Tolu was set to continue on Oct. 16, the support group named Freiheit für Meşale Tolu (Freedom for Meşale Tolu) said in a statement.

The 33-year-old German citizen with Turkish roots is accused of engaging in terrorist propaganda and being a member of a banned left-wing group, the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP).

A Turkish court on Dec. 18 ordered the release of Tolu, pending verdict, however an Istanbul court in April ruled to keep the travel ban against her in place.

Before her arrest in May 2017, Tolu worked as a translator and journalist for Turkish Etkin News agency (ETHA).

Turkish prosecutors considered her attendance at the funerals of several members of the outlawed group as evidence of her membership in the outlawed group.

Her case was among issues that have soured relations between Turkey and Germany.

The court ruling that removed the travel ban for Tolu came as Turkey tries to repair its stained ties with Berlin.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan discussed bilateral relations with Chancellor Angela Merkel in a phone call on Aug. 15.

The two leaders agreed upon a meeting between finance ministers of Turkey and Germany, while Merkel stressed Berlin supports a strong Turkish economy.

Erdoğan and Merkel also discussed their planned meeting in Berlin at the end of September.

Amid tensions with the United States, Ankara has recently launched a diplomatic offensive to mend ties with Europe’s heavyweights, Germany and France.

In another high-profile case, German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel, who was arrested last year on terrorism and propaganda charges, was released earlier this year and returned to Germany.

Meşale Tolu, journalism, judiciary