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German Journalist Freed but Barred from Travel in Turkey


Ali Riza Tolu, father of imprisoned German journalist Mesale Tolu, talks with his mobile phone in front of the Justice Palace, the Caglayan courthouse, in Istanbul, Turkey, Dec. 18, 2017.

A Turkish court has released German journalist Mesale Tolu after nearly eight months in prison but barred her from leaving Turkey, German officials said Monday.

Tolu, 33, was released under the condition that she does not leave the country, after being charged with being a member of a terrorist organization and publishing terrorist propaganda in the wake of the failed military coup of July 2016 — charges she has denied.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the news but cautioned that it was not entirely good news.

"Regarding Ms. Tolu, it is good news given that she will be freed, but not completely so, because she can't leave the country, and the trial continues," Merkel told reporters.

Tolu, who worked as a reporter and translator for the left-wing ETHA news agency, was arrested along with her husband, Suat Corlu, who was released in November.

Following Tolu's release, eight Germans remain behind bars in Turkey, including Die Welt correspondent Daniz Yucel, who was arrested in February.

Berlin has alleged that Turkey is holding Yucel and others as a political statement.

Germany's mainstream political parties have been outspoken in their criticism of widespread detentions of tens of thousands of Turks in the year and a half since the abortive military coup. Turkey has criticized Berlin for not extraditing asylum seekers who Ankara blames for involvement in the coup.

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