Turkish academic Fusün Üstel released from prison

Jailed Turkish academic Fusün Üstel, who was serving a sentence over charges of aiding a terrorist organisation for signing a peace petition, was released from prison, left-wing news site Duvar reported on Monday.

The retired professor from Galatasaray University on May 8 began serving a 15-month jail sentence for signing a petition calling for a peaceful end to Turkey’s three-decades-old conflict with Kurdish rebels.

Üstel was the only academic among the initial 1128 of signatories of a petition, which criticised the heavy-handed tactics employed by the Turkish army in predominantly Kurdish cities in the country, to receive a jail sentence.  

Üstel’s release follows a decision by the Turkish Constitutional Court to review the appeals of 10 academics, including Üstel's, in a meeting scheduled for July 26, Duvar said. 

Under the two-year emergency rule declared following a coup attempt in 2016, hundreds of peace petitioners have lost their jobs with no prospect of working again in Turkey and abroad as some have been subject to travel bans and had their passports revoked.