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Turkish Court Drops Conviction Against Former WSJ Reporter

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A Turkish Court has thrown out a conviction against a Former Wall Street Journal Reporter, Ayla Albayrak.

The court annulled a two-year sentence handed out in absentia over alleged terrorist propaganda, the journalist said on Wednesday.

Albayrak, a dual Finnish-Turkish national, was sentenced in 2017 to two years and one month in jail over a 2015 article she wrote about the armed conflict in Turkey’s restive south-east.

The report on fighting between Turkish forces and the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) was deemed propaganda for a terrorist organisation.

The PKK is designated a terrorist group by Turkey, as well as the European Union and the United States.

“The black comedy part of my life called ‘a trial’ finally ended.

“It’s been exactly three years since the investigation started in Nov. 2015 over a WSJ story,’’ Albayrak wrote on Twitter.

“This decision is a relief for me and my family but not a real sign of greater press freedom in Turkey,’’ she said.

The court dismissed the case, citing the statute of limitations and did not rule on the substance of the charges, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier.

The decision comes as tensions ease between Ankara and Washington.

The countries had sparred over a number of issues, including the detention of a Christian pastor from the U.S.

In October, a court in Turkey lifted the house arrest and travel ban against Pastor Andrew Brunson, who was arrested two years ago on espionage and terrorism-related charges.

He has returned to the U.S.

Earlier this month, the U.S. and Turkey lifted sanctions imposed at the height of the row over Brunson’s detention.



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