Turkey court orders conditional release of hunger-strike academic
A Turkish court on Friday sentenced to prison a hunger striking academic who is protesting her dismissal after last year's failed coup, but released her pending appeal, her lawyer said.
Nuriye Gulmen was found guilty of being a member of an outlawed far left-wing group and sentenced to six years and three months in jail, Omer Faruk Eminagaoglu said after the hearing in Ankara.
However, the court ordered her conditional release, the lawyer said, adding they would appeal the conviction.
She will be released later on Friday from hospital where she has been since authorities transferred her into intensive care in September.
Gulmen, 35, was originally sentenced to seven years and three months but it was cut by one year for "good conduct" during her hearings before the court, the lawyer told AFP.
Teacher Semih Ozakca, also on trial and on hunger strike with Gulmen, was acquitted of the same charge of belonging to the outlawed Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), which has carried out sporadic attacks in recent years.
Ozakca had been released from prison in October.
The pair previously said the charges were fabricated.
The DHKP-C is proscribed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.
The defendants first began a protest in central Ankara late last year after their sacking by government decree under a state of emergency imposed after the 2016 attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
They started a hunger strike a few months later.
They have become a symbol of the widespread crackdown in Turkey since the coup bid.
The pair are among over 140,000 public sector workers including judges, civil servants and police officers suspended or sacked since July 2016.
More than 50,000 have been arrested over alleged links to the movement run by Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen who Turkey says ordered the attempted putsch.
He strongly denies the charges.
There are concerns over the health of the hunger strikers, who are only consuming salty or sugary water, herbal tea and vitamin B1.
They have now been on hunger strike for 269 days.
© 2017 AFP