Turkish court sentences Wall Street Journal journalist to jail in absentia over PKK propaganda: Paper
A Turkish court has sentenced a journalist from the Wall Street Journal in absentia to two years and one month in prison on charges of carrying out propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants, the newspaper said on Oct. 10.
Ayla Albayrak, a Wall Street Journal reporter with dual Turkish and Finnish citizenship, was sentenced over a 2015 story about ongoing clashes between Turkish security forces and PKK militants in the country’s southeast.
“This was an unfounded criminal charge and wildly inappropriate conviction that wrongly singled out a balanced Wall Street Journal report,” the paper quoted its editor-in-chief Gerard Baker as saying.
Albayrak, who is currently in the United States, will appeal against the conviction, the Wall Street Journal said.
The court decision coincides with an escalating row between Turkey and the United States after the NATO allies mutually suspended visa services on Oct. 8, plunging already strained relations to a new low.
“Given the current climate in Turkey, this appalling decision shouldn’t have come as a surprise to me, but it did,” Albayrak was quoted as saying.