Exiled Turkish writer and human rights activist Asli Erdogan answers AFP journalists’ questions during an interview on July 23, 2018 in Frankfurt, Germany. — AFP pic

Renowned Turkish novelist acquitted in terror trial

ISTANBUL, Feb 14 — A Turkish court today acquitted renowned novelist Asli Erdogan on charges of membership of an armed terror organisation.

The court in Istanbul also acquitted Erdogan, who is living in exile in Germany, of disrupting the unity of the state, and dropped charges of spreading terror propaganda.

Erdogan, whose books have been translated into various different languages, was an occasional columnist for pro-Kurdish newspaper Ozgur Gundem which was shut down after the failed 2016 coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The novelist Erdogan — who has no relation to the Turkish president — was held in pre-trial detention for four months in 2016 but later released.

She did not attend today’s hearing but in a statement read out by her lawyer Erdal Dogan, Erdogan said her columns did not contain any violent element.

“Their political content is limited to human rights violations,” she said. — AFP