The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editor, media executives and journalists, welcomed the release of IPI Executive Board member and Turkey National Committee Chair Kadri Gürsel from prison in Turkey.

Gürsel was briefly jailed yesterday after reporting to the authorities to serve out the remainder of a two-and-a-half year prison sentence handed down in April 2018 as part of the trial against journalists and staff members with the secular newspaper Cumhuriyet. A former Cumhuriyet columnist, Gürsel had spent 10 months and three weeks in pre-trial detention between 2016 and 2017 and therefore qualified for release on probation under Turkish law.

“We welcome the decision to release Kadri Gürsel on probation as per Turkish law”, IPI Deputy Director Scott Griffen said. “Nevertheless, although this decision is clearly a positive one for press freedom, Mr. Gürsel’s conviction itself remains in no way justifiable.”