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Court lifts travel ban on Turkish-German journalist’s husband

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A Turkish court on Tuesday lifted a travel ban on Suat Çorlu, the husband of Turkish-German journalist Meşale Tolu, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported.

The couple was arrested on terrorism charges in May 2017 and released pending trial after eight months of detention.

The court had imposed a travel ban on Tolu and Çorlu at the time; however, Tolu’s travel ban was lifted, a move that to many observers was made to repair Turkish-German relations.

After the court decision Tolu left Turkey, but her husband was still subject to a travel ban.

Barely two months after Turkey allowed Tolu to leave the country, she said she had decided to return and appear in court because she hoped that, while it may end in her serving jail time, it would help get her husband out of Turkey, where he faces terrorism charges, Reuters reported.

If convicted she faces up to 20 years in prison.

“We will be sentenced together, from the same judge in the same trial,” Tolu told German ARD broadcaster. “The judge let me go and not my husband, and if I do not show up, he’ll say, ‘We let Ms. Tolu go, she’s not coming anymore, why should we let Mr. Çorlu go?’ That is an important reason, also for my son, to go back and participate in the process.”

Tolu said it was not an easy decision for her to return to Turkey. “But of course it’s very important for my son that he can also be with his father. So I have to go back,” she said.

“I think it will increase the chances that the travel ban for my husband is lifted as well,” she said.

Tolu said she could not rule out being re-arrested or sentenced. These were risks she had to take, she added.

The next hearing in the trial will be held on Jan. 10.

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