Journalist Şahin Alpay released from jail

Journalist Şahin Alpay released from jail

Journalist Şahin Alpay released from jail

An Istanbul court late on March 16 ordered the conditional release of Şahin Alpay, a Turkish journalist jailed in the wake of the July 2016 coup attempt following an earlier decision by the Turkey’s top constitutional body.

The court ruled that Alpay must remain in his house and is forbidden from leaving Turkey, state-run news Anadolu Agency has reported.

The Constitutional Court had ruled in January that Alpay and fellow jailed journalist Mehmet Altan should be released on the grounds that their rights had been violated.

But the lower criminal courts hearing their cases defied the decision and they were kept in jail.

After the January court ruling, Alpay applied a second time to the Constitutional Court, which again ruled on March 16 by a majority vote that his rights had been violated while in detention.

On Feb. 16, Mehmet Altan was handed a life sentence over charges of links to the group blamed for the 2016 failed coup, together with his brother Ahmet, who is also a writer, and veteran journalist Nazlı Ilıcak.

In a separate case, Alpay remains on trial, also charged with links to the failed coup, and faces life in jail if convicted. He was arrested shortly after the failed coup and remanded in pre-trial detention in late July 2016.

A similar application to the Constitutional Court by Mehmet Altan is set to be examined at a later date. The top body ordered that Alpay should be paid 20,000 Turkish Liras ($5,100) in compensation.

The latest ruling comes as the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) is scheduled on March 20 to rule on the cases of Alpay and Mehmet Altan, who both appealed to the Strasbourg court.

Ahmet Altan,