Turkish court frees prominent journalist Altan from jail pending appeal

A Turkish court has released newspaper columnist and academic Mehmet Altan from prison, pending an appeal of his conviction and life sentence for alleged involvement in Turkey’s 2016 failed coup. Altan, who spent two years in prison, was freed late on Wednesday by an Istanbul regional court, after a lower court ignored rulings by Turkey’s Constitutional Court for his release, Anadolu reported. Amnesty International welcomed the release but said it was “long overdue.” Altan was sentenced to life imprisonment in February along with his brother, writer Ahmet Altan, and journalist Nazli Ilicak, AP said. They were accused of plotting against the constitution and membership in a terrorist organization over their links to US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who is blamed for the coup. They deny any involvement in the coup attempt.