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Finnish MEPs join call to overturn journalist’s Turkish prison sentence

Finnish MEPs have added their voices to the growing list of officials calling for Turkey to overturn the conviction and sentencing of a Finnish-Turkish journalist working for the Wall Street Journal.

Toimittaja Ayla Albayrak.
Ayla Albayrak Image: Juha Heikanen / Yle

Finnish European Parliamentarians have joined the call for Turkey to quash the conviction and two-year prison sentence handed down to Ayla Albayrak, a Finnish-Turkish journalist working for the Wall Street Journal.

On Friday, Finland’s 13 European Parliamentarians co-signed and sent a letter to the Turkish Minister for Justice and the country's EU ambassador, calling for the sentence to be overturned.

Diplomatic channels opened

On Wednesday, a Turkish court convicted Albayrak in absentia on charges of producing terrorist propaganda and supporting Kurdish separatists over her reporting on tensions between the Turkish government and the Kurdish minority. Albayrak was also slapped with a two-year prison sentence.

On Thursday, Finland appeared to be pursuing a diplomatic resolution of the matter following reports that the Finnish Foreign Ministry had issued a diplomatic note to the Turkish ambassador in Helsinki, summoning him to a meeting on the matter.

Opposition politicians and members of the media have condemned what they described as the government’s weak response to the case, and have called for a tougher stance on Turkey.

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