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İstanbul court refuses to lift travel ban for German-Turkish journalist

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Adil Demirci, a Cologne-based journalist and social worker, must remain in Turkey after an İstanbul court rejected his application to lift a travel ban, Deutsche Welle reported.

Demirci, a 33-year-old freelancer from the ETHA news agency who holds both German and Turkish citizenship, was arrested in April 2018 during a holiday trip with his mother in İstanbul. The purpose of the trip was to improve his mother’s health; she is suffering from cancer.

Prosecutors have accused him of membership in the left- extremist Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), which Turkey has deemed a terrorist organization.

Demirci was released from custody in mid-February after 10 months behind bars but has not been allowed to leave Istanbul since his release. He now has to wait until Oct. 15 until his next hearing.

“It is very disappointing,” Demirci said on Tuesday. “I expected that I would be able to return [to Germany].”

At his hearing on Tuesday, the judge also presented new charges accusing Demirci of having conducted “courier services in Syria and Iraq,” allegations based on a secret service report.

Prosecutors have based the accusation on the fact that in 2013, Demirci had attended the funerals of MLKP members who fought in northern Syria alongside the Kurdish militia against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group.

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