Turkey to release journalist arrested over posts on personal-data leaks

Turkish authorities ruled to release a journalist from pre-trial detention, his lawyer said on Wednesday, a week after he was formally arrested for sharing President Tayyip Erdogan’s ID card as proof that hackers had stolen Turks’ personal information.

The independent journalist, Ibrahim Haskologlu, had said in a post on Twitter that hackers had obtained the information on the president from government websites, and illustrated his point with a partially obscured photo of what he said was Erdogan’s ID.

In the Twitter posts earlier this month, Haskologlu said that a group of hackers had contacted him two months ago and said they had obtained residents’ confidential information from government websites.

As well as sharing the purported photo of Erdogan’s ID, Haskologlu published an image of what he said was the ID card of Hakan Fidan, head of Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency. Most of the information on the cards was concealed.

Lawyer Emrah Karatay had said Haskologlu contacted government authorities about the issue and, as no action was taken, announced it on Twitter as a warning to others.

A court ruled to formally arrest him last Tuesday for not notifying prosecutors.

The Interior Ministry had filed a complaint about the Twitter post, requesting that prosecutors launch a case for insulting government institutions, slander or other charges.

It also requested that the posts be removed.

Haskologlu was detained at his home and police searched his apartment. He was later jailed pending trial on a charge of illegally obtaining and disseminating personal information.

Karatay told Reuters on Wednesday that he was notified of the decision relating to his client’s release and that he was expected to be freed later in the day.

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