Human rights activists stage a protest outside a court where eleven human rights activists, among them Amnesty International's Turkey chairman Taner Kilic, are on trial, accused of belonging to and aiding terror groups, in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 25,
Human rights activists stage a protest outside a court where eleven human rights activists, among them Amnesty International's Turkey chairman Taner Kilic, are on trial, accused of belonging to and aiding terror groups, in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct. 25,

A Turkish court has ordered the release of the local chairman of Amnesty International, the rights group said Wednesday.

Taner Kilic had been imprisoned for more than a year on terror-related charges. He was accused of supporting U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara blames for a failed coup in July 2016.

The decision to release Kilic came one day after a Turkish court released two jailed Greek soldiers, raising prospects for warmer relations between Turkey and the European Union.

The EU had condemned Kilic's jailing, citing what it believed was a heavy-handed approach to enforcing the law in Turkey, a candidate for entry into the EU.

Kilic was one of several human rights activists who were swept up in Turkey's nationwide crackdown following the failed coup.

Amnesty International's new secretary-general, Kumi Naido, applauded Kilic's pending release but said the fight for human rights in Turkey would continue.

"Today we take a moment to celebrate, but tomorrow our struggle will continue, re-energized by the example set by Taner himself: a man who knows the importance of human rights and is willing to dedicate his life to defending them," he said.