Prominent columnist in Turkey is released from prison

Kadri Gursel, left, a prominent Turkish journalist, is handcuffed by police as he turns himself in outside an Istanbul prison, Wednesday, May 29, 2019. Gursel, sent back to prison Wednesday in connection with convictions for terror charges handed last year to an opposition newspaper, was released hours later. (DHA via AP)

ISTANBUL (AP) — A prominent Turkish journalist sent back to prison Wednesday in connection with convictions for terror charges handed last year to an opposition newspaper was released hours later.

Kadri Gursel tweeted Wednesday evening that he was released from an Istanbul prison. He had turned himself in earlier that day to serve out his 30-month prison sentence for “knowingly and willingly aiding a terror group without being a member.”

Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency said he was released on probation.

The former Cumhuriyet columnist tweeted earlier Wednesday that he was convicted “without evidence and unjustly for journalistic activities” and that he was facing further injustice by being put behind bars again.

Gursel spent 11 months in pre-trial detention.

Thirteen other former Cumhuriyet journalists and senior staff members were convicted in April 2018. Six of them returned to prison last month after an appeals court confirmed their convictions.

The Journalists’ Union of Turkey says 140 journalists and media workers are in prison.

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