Exiled Turkish journalist reunited with wife after 3 years

Istanbul (AFP) –


The wife of one of Turkey's best-known exiled journalists said Friday she had been reunited in Berlin with her family after three years of being denied a passport.

Dilek Turker Dundar shared an image on Twitter saying she was back with her husband, Can Dundar, former editor-in-chief of Turkish opposition daily Cumhuriyet.

He fled to Germany after being convicted in 2016 on charges of revealing state secrets in a story about arms shipments to Syria that deeply angered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"I am now in Berlin with my husband and son," she told AFP by phone.

Dilek was prevented from leaving Turkey in September 2016 after her passport had been cancelled the month before. She had not seen her son, who is studying in London, in three-and-a-half years.

She told AFP she had left Turkey "during the past few days" without her passport but did not wish to give further details.

"Leaving Turkey makes me sad and happy at the same time. It wasn't an easy thing to do. But at the same time, I am now reunited with my family, so that makes me very happy."

Cumhuriyet published a video in 2015 showing an arms shipment being intercepted on the way to Syria, which it claimed was destined for Syrian rebels.

Erdogan warned Dundar at the time that he would "pay a heavy price" for the report.

Outside an Istanbul court in May 2016, a gunman shot at Dundar but missed. It was Dilek who held the attacker by his collar and surrendered him to the police.

The gunman was later sentenced to 10 months in jail.

Can Dundar still had his passport and was able to leave the country in 2016 while awaiting an appeal hearing.