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Turkey lifts travel ban for German journalist

August 20, 2018

Mesale Tolu is now free to leave Turkey, but the trial against her will continue. Her husband must remain in the country to face similar charges.

German journalist Mesale Tolu
Image: Reuters/O.Orsal

A Turkish court has lifted a travel ban on German journalist Mesale Tolu, who was arrested last year on terrorism-related charges, German news agency DPA reported on Monday, citing a support group.

But her trial is still set to continue on October 16, the support group named Freiheit fuer Mesale Tolu (Freedom for Mesale Tolu) said in a statement.

Read more: Opinion: A dark time for democracy in Turkey

The verdict was unexpected, after an Istanbul court in April ruled to keep the travel ban against her in place.

Her husband, Suat Corlu, who is facing similar charges, must remain in Turkey, the group said.

DW correspondent Dorian Jones after Turkey lifts a travel ban on German journalist Mesale Tolu

Terror charges

Tolu was arrested by Turkish authorities in April last year on suspicion of conducting "terrorist propaganda."

She had also been charged with membership in a terror organization over alleged links with the far-left Marxist-Leninist Community Party.

The 33-year-old was released in December after spending eight months in jail, but authorities then placed a travel ban on her. 

Born to Turkish parents in Germany, Tolu moved to Istanbul in 2014 to work as a reporter and translator.

She mostly wrote for left-leaning outlets, which were seen as having pro-Kurdish tendencies. She also worked for "Ozgur Radyo" which was closed by the government.

In February, German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel returned to Germany after spending more than a year in a Turkish prison, where he had been jailed without charge. His trial has continued in absentia and the next hearing is scheduled for December 20.

According to official figures there are now seven Germans locked up in Turkey for "political reasons," the latest being a Kurdish man from Hamburg who visited his mother.

law/msh (dpa)