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Tuesday, 22 September 2020

Turkey court releases prominent novelist from jail: TV

AFP , Wednesday 23 Nov 2016
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A Turkish court on Wednesday ordered the release of prominent novelist Asli Erdogan and linguist Necmiye Alpay after three months in prison over alleged links to Kurdish militants, television reports said.

They were taken into custody in August as part of a probe into the now shut-down pro-Kurdish newspaper Ozgur Gundem on charges of links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

Erdogan and Alpay had been held 97 and 85 days respectively in a women's prison in Istanbul, reports said. It was not immediately clear at what time they would walk out of jail.

Erdogan, 49, and Alpay, who turned 70 on Wednesday, are charged with membership of an armed terror organisation and seeking to disrupt national unity.

A total of nine suspects linked to Ozgur Gundem have been charged in the case.

Their detention had been criticised by fellow writers and human rights activists including the UN rapporteur on freedom of expression David Kaye.

He met with Alpay during his visit to Turkey last week but had been denied access to Erdogan.

Erdogan is due to go on trial next month, according to local media. Turkish prosecutors had demanded life sentences for Erdogan and eight other suspects linked to the daily.

Erdogan is no relation to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the name is a common one in Turkey.

She has published several well-received novels including "The City in Crimson Cloak" which also appeared in English translation.

As well as an renowned linguist, Alpay is a prominent translator praise for making international literature available to Turkish readers.

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