By Staff Reporter
THE International Press Institute, a global network of editors, media executives and journalists has urged Turkey to ensure the immediate release of eminent journalist and IPI executive board member Kadri Gürsel on probation.
According to a statement by IPI released today, Wednesday, Gürsel reported to prison today in Istanbul and was awaiting his release on probation.
Gürsel, a former Cumhuriyet columnist was arrested on November 4, 2016, and spent 10 months and three weeks in pre-trial detention before being granted bail on September 25, 2017.
He was charged with aiding a terrorist organization without being a member along with other dozen more Cumhuriyet staff members.
The matter was tried at the High Criminal Court in Istanbul, which in April 2018 sentenced him to two years and six months in prison.
Gürsel appealed to the Regional Appeals Court, which upheld the sentence in February this year.
However, the journalist, as per the law in Turkey is entitled to serve the remaining approximately 11 months of his sentence on probation.
The Turkey Constitutional Court on May 2 ruled that Gürsel’s rights to freedom of expression, livery and security were violated by his imprisonment for nearing 11 months during the Cumhuriyet trial.
Meanwhile, IPI executive board members have written Turkey’s minister of Justice Abdulhamit Gül urging the authorities to release the journalist immediately to serve his remaining prison term on probation and in accordance with the Turkish law.
The IPI board members stated that they were apprehensive that the prison authorities might arbitrarily delay Gürsel’s release on probation and urged the minister to instruct the prison authorities to release him on probation and uphold the rule of law.