The Dutch freelance journalist Mehmet Ülger has been acquitted today by the Turkish court.
Ülger was detained at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport on January 7 while trying to leave Turkey. He was later released. Ülger was told that he had been held in connection to his presence at the September 2013 trial of then imprisoned Turkish-Dutch journalist Füsun Erdoğan. Ülger had his cell phone with him in the court room at Erdoğan’s trial and reportedly took photos on his phone. Ülger attended the trial as an observer for the NVJ.
Mehmet Ülger could have been sentenced to six months in prison. “I hope that all this is behind us”, responded Mehmet Ülger, today, just after the announcement of his acquittal. Anyway, the prosecutor can still appeal the ruling.
The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its affiliate in the Netherlands, the Dutch Association of Journalists (NVJ) reminded, on Monday, that the prosecution of Mehmet Ülger was a clear violation of press freedom as provided in Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).