Veteran journalist Kadri Gürsel was released after the third hearing of the case on Turkish daily Cumhuriyet on 25 September.
Although the Istanbul Heavy Penal Court ruled for the release of Gürsel, it ordered the continued arrest of four others including reporter Ahmet Şık and editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu.
“I thank everyone who supported us throughout and trial process. It showed us the importance of solidarity once again. If a public opinion was formed, it was thanks to that support,” Gürsel told reporters early on Sept. 26 upon his release after 11 months in jail.
“However, there is nothing to rejoice about because there are Cumhuriyet employees that are under arrest unjustly and on baseless accusations. The freedom of our friends has been taken away,” he added.
Gürsel was met by his wife Nazire Kalkan Gürsel, relatives, friends and several MPs from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
“Each hearing of the Cumhuriyet case was historic because it showed how journalism could be defended and how empty the accusations were,” Gürsel also said.
“Every journalist wants to write, as long as the conditions allow them. I will of course continue to write,” he vowed.
Around 17 staff members of Turkish daily Cumhuriyet are accused of terrorism linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), and the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) among the groups named in the indictments.