Travel ban on German journalist Mesale Tolu lifted by Turkish authorities

Source: Xinhua| 2018-08-20 20:44:45|Editor: xuxin
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BERLIN, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- Turkish authorities have lifted a travel ban on Mesale Tolu after releasing her from police custody earlier, the German journalist and translator confirmed on Monday.

"The reports about the lifting of my travel ban are correct. I would like to thank my supporters and all of those who have been part of my struggle for freedom," Tolu wrote on social media Twitter.

Back in December, Tolu was allowed to leave jail in Turkey but had to remain in the country and report to police on a regular basis. The journalist was previously imprisoned for over more than seven months on charges of being a member of a terrorist organization and spreading propaganda.

As one of at least eleven German citizens who were arrested in a government crackdown after the Turkey's failed 2016 military coup, Tolu's arrest contributed to growing strains on the traditionally-close diplomatic ties between Berlin and Ankara.

The German government has repeatedly demanded the release of all Germans jailed on political grounds by Turkish authorities and threatened to impose national and European Union (EU) economic sanctions otherwise.

Mesale Tolu and 17 other suspects are believed by Turkish state prosecutors to be members of the left-wing extreme MLKP group which is classified as a terrorist organization in the country.

She is accused of having attended two memorial services for female Kurdish fighters who lost their lives in combat against the so-called "Islamic State", as well as a women's rights demonstration and a funeral for members of a forbidden Communist party.

As recently as April, an Istanbul court rejected an appeal by Tolu to return to home to Germany with her husband and three-year-old son. The judicial move was met with public derision by German policymakers and Tolu herself.

The suspect attacked the decision as a "political verdict" and "chicanery". The renewed ban on leaving the country meant that she "would continue to be prevented from having a normal routine" in her life.

"As a German citizen I want my son to go to kindergarten in the country I come from," Tolu had pleaded with judicial authorities.

While expressing relief on Monday that she can now return to Germany, Tolu emphasized that her court case was not yet concluded. Additionally, a travel ban still remains active on the journalist's spouse Suat Corlu who was temporarily arrested in the wake of the 2016 failed coup in Turkey as well.