Israel Frees Turk After Charging Her With Aiding Hamas

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -

Israel has released a Turkish woman who had been arrested while visiting on a tourist visa and accused of helping the Hamas terror group, in a case that angered Ankara, her lawyer said on Monday.

Turkey threatened retaliation after Ebru Ozkan’s detention last month.

Ozkan’s lawyer, Omar Khamaisi, said she flew to Istanbul on Sunday, a week after an Israeli military court indicted her. An appeals court had ordered her freed and returned her passport, he told Reuters, adding: “The indictment still stands, but I think that will be canceled too.”

The Turkish news agency Anadlou quoted Ozkan, upon landing, as thanking President Tayyip Erdogan for having been “kind enough to be very interested in my case.”

An IDF spokesman had no immediate comment.

Ozkan was held at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport last month while trying to board her original flight home after a visit that took her to Yerushalayim.

She was charged with helping smuggling money and packages to Hamas, which is classified as a terrorist group in Israel and the West, but not by NATO-power Turkey. Ozkan’s lawyer dismissed the charges as baseless and, potentially, politically motivated.

Hamas did not comment on the case.