Turkish court rules for German reporter to remain in jail
A Turkish court on Oct. 11 ruled to keep under detention a German journalist and translator charged with membership of an outlawed leftist group, her lawyers said.
The case of Meşale Tolu is one of several which have led to a crisis in relations between Ankara and Berlin. She was initially detained in late April and is charged with membership of the outlawed Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP).
Tolu, 33, is one of several German nationals detained under the state of emergency imposed in Turkey after last year’s failed coup attempt.
She went on trial on Oct. 11 at a court in Silivri outside Istanbul along with 17 others charged in the same case. If convicted, she faces up to 15 years in jail.
The court ruled that Tolu and five others would remain in prison, while eight would be released pending trial, announced the Law Office of the Oppressed, which is representing her.
Tolu, who worked as a reporter and translator for the leftwing ETHA news agency, is being held in the Bakırköy women’s prison in Istanbul. Her three-year-old son is with her there.
During the hearing, she denied the charges against her, according to the Law Office of the Oppressed.
“I do not accept the accusations made against me in the indictment. I was targeted by the police because of the translation I did for ETHA,” it quoted Tolu as saying on its Twitter account.
She is accused of attending funerals for MLKP militants and demonstrations of the banned group, but supporters see the case as politically motivated.
“All the accusations are lies and empty,” her father Ali Rıza said outside the court, quoted by ETHA on its Facebook page.