Court frees medic jailed over chemical arms probe

An Istanbul court has released the head of the Turkish Medical Association (TTB), who was detained after calling for an investigation into allegations that the Turkish military used chemical weapons in northern Iraq.

The 63-year-old was detained last October on charges of disseminating "terrorist propaganda" as part of an investigation launched by anti-terrorism police, according to the Ankara chief prosecutor's office.

Turkish officials strongly rejected allegations that the Turkish military used chemical weapons against the PKK, in northern Iraq.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan accused her of "speaking the language of the terrorist organization," while Defense Minister Hulusi Akar called her comments "slander."

A criminal court on Jan. 11 found Fincancı guilty of disseminating "terrorist propaganda," a charge that could have seen her jailed for seven-and-half years. But it sentenced her to less than three years in prison and ordered her immediate release.

In Türkiye, those who get sentenced to less than four years are usually put under court supervision but allowed to go free.

The trial has been accompanied by stepped-up security measures and a heavy riot police presence both inside and outside the Istanbul courthouse.


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