Court also accepts indictment seeking 18 years in prison for Deniz Yucel on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda. He will also go on trial for openly inciting enmity and animosity among the public.

The 43-year-old reporter was taken into custody by police in Istanbul on February 14, 2017 on terror accusations.
The 43-year-old reporter was taken into custody by police in Istanbul on February 14, 2017 on terror accusations. (AFP)

A Turkish court on Friday released a Turkish-German journalist who was arrested by the Turkish police last year.

The 32nd High Penal Court in Istanbul ordered the release of Deniz Yucel, a correspondent for German daily Die Welt, who was arrested in February 2017 on suspicion of spreading terrorist propaganda.

The court also accepted an indictment against Yucel demanding up to 18 years in prison on charges of spreading terrorist propaganda and inciting public hatred and enmity.

The court released him with a preliminary proceedings report.

"I believe that this will lead to him being able to leave the country," Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel told reporters in Munich on Friday

The arrest of Yucel and around a dozen German citizens, on suspicion of aiding terrorist groups, had been a source of friction between Ankara and Berlin.

Despite repeated calls by German politicians for the release of their citizens, the Turkish government ruled out any political influence on the judiciary and advised them to wait for the decision of the courts.

Visiting Berlin on Thursday, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said the Turkish courts were overloaded due to cases related to the 2016 defeated coup, but added he hoped a development might come soon.

Source: AA