Turkey releases writer Ahmet Altan after more than four years in prison

A Turkish court has released the journalist and novelist Ahmet Altan after more than four years in prison on charges of involvement in a failed 2016 coup attempt, charges he had always denied.

The court of cassation ruling came a day after the European court of human rights (ECHR) demanded the 71-year-old’s freedom in a verdict that accused Turkey of violating his civil rights.

“I don’t know how I got out. I was sitting [in prison] and all of a sudden I was told this evening that I would be released,” Altan said at his home in Istanbul. “I just saw my children. I will now spend some time with them.”

The award-winning novelist and newspaper editor was jailed after writing politically sensitive pieces critical of the president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and in support of Kurdish rights.

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