Journalist Hacı Yusuf Topaloğlu released from prison

The Kurdish journalist and former DIHA correspondent Hacı Yusuf Topaloğlu has been released from Turkish custody after two months. The trial on terror accusations continues.

Kurdish journalist Hacı Yusuf Topaloğlu, who was imprisoned at the end of November on terror accusations based on the testimony of a "secret witness", was released on the day of the first hearing.  Yesterday in Adıyaman the first hearing in the trial against the former correspondent of the DIHA (Dicle News Agency), which was banned by emergency decree, took place.  The journalist is accused of "membership in a terrorist organization".

Topaloğlu rejected all accusations in court and declared that he did not know the alleged witness for the prosecution.  Contrary to the demands of the prosecution, the court decided - also because of the contradictory statements of the "anonymous witness" - to cancel the arrest warrant against Topaloğlu.  The hearing was adjourned, but it is not yet clear when the next hearing will take place.

Turkey - largest prison for journalists

The Initiative of Free Journalists (ÖGI) announced in early December that 139 journalists are in prison in Turkey because of their work and said: "It is impossible to speak of freedom of the press in Turkey. According to a census of the Platform of Imprisoned Journalists (TGDP), there were as many as 197 journalists in Turkish prisons as of 4 December.