Detained RSF Turkey representative released
ANKARA - The Turkey representative for Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has been released with conditions after he was detained 10 days ago on "terrorist propaganda" charges, the head of the media rights group said Thursday.
RSF chief Christian Deloire confirmed the release of Erol Onderoglu to AFP, while local media said rights activist and academic Sebnem Korur Fincanci had also been freed.
Journalist Ahmet Nesin could also be released shortly pending a judge's decision, according to the same sources.
In a case that stoked concerns over declining media freedoms in Turkey, the trio had been charged in connection with "terror propaganda" after guest-editing the pro-Kurdish Turkish newspaper Ozgur Gundem.
Onderloglu's conditional release does not necessarily spell the end of the legal proceedings, with prosecutor having demanded jail terms of up to 14 and a half years for the three.
The arrests had prompted a huge outcry at home and abroad, and RSF had launched a legal bid to secure their release which was rejected last weekend.
Turkey currently stands in 151st place in RSF's media freedom ranking of 180 countries.
The United States had expressed deep concern over the arrests.
"This appears to be just a continuation of a troubling trend that we've seen in Turkey to discourage legitimate discourse and freedom of expression, freedom of the press," State Department spokesman John Kirby said last week.
A truce between the Turkish government and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) collapsed a year ago, with Ankara vowing no let-up in a relentless campaign to wipe the rebels from urban centres in the Kurdish-dominated southeast.