Turkish journalist arrested in Egypt to be released

Turkish journalist arrested in Egypt to be released

ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Turkish journalist arrested in Egypt to be released

Metin Turan was detained during protests in August at Cairo’s el-Fath Mosque. Hürriyet photo

An Egyptian court has decided to release Turkish journalist Metin Turan pending trial, almost four months after he was arrested on Aug. 17 during protests at Cairo’s el-Fath Mosque.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced the ruling via Twitter on Dec. 5, adding that the Turkish embassy in Cairo would now take “the necessary initiatives.”

Around 400 people were detained during the el-Fath Mosque protests on Aug. 17, which Turan was covering for Turkey’s state-run TRT.

Turan was among 84 others released yesterday pending trial, and the official paper work is set to be completed within two days, after which he will no longer be detained. Whether or not he can immediately return to Turkey remains unknown.

Turan’s family received the news with joy, with his brother thanking Turkish officials for their involvement throughout the case.

Parliament Speaker Cemil Çiçek was one of the first government officials to react to the news, releasing a statement saying he was pleased to hear of Turan’s release.

“It is our greatest wish that journalists who fulfill their duties in various locations under difficult circumstances are not subjected to such unfair treatment,” Çiçek’s statement said.

The Egyptian authorities accused Turan of “acting together with terrorist groups,” according to previous reports.

Turan defended himself by saying his only intention was to report on the events. “I went to the el-Fath mosque with other colleagues to report. I didn’t have any intention other than journalism. I was stuck in the mosque after the events erupted,” he said.

Days after Turan’s detention, military forces raided the Cairo bureau of Turkey’s Ihlas News Agency on Aug. 20, detaining the bureau chief and seizing the agency’s live broadcasting equipment.