"I will fight to the end": After the Turkish prison sentence, Gönül Örs is back in Cologne

The in the Turkey Gönül Örs from Cologne, sentenced to a long prison sentence, is back in Germany after more than two years. At the side of Cologne's Lord Mayor Henriette Reker, she appeared in front of friends and supporters in Cologne City Hall on Friday and expressed her relief. "I'm just happy to be home," said the 39-year-old. Two weeks ago had a The Istanbul court sentenced her to ten years and five months in prison on charges of terrorism, among other things. However, the ban on her from leaving the country was lifted - she now used this opportunity to return to Germany.

The judges in Turkey sentenced Örs to one year and eight months for terrorist propaganda, five years for deprivation of liberty and the use of force and three years and nine months for "kidnapping or confiscation" of transportation. They found Örs guilty on all charges. In Cologne, Örs stressed her innocence. You will appeal and, if necessary, go to the European Court of Human Rights. "I'll fight for it until the end because I'm innocent."

The background to the indictment is a protest in 2012 on a ship in Cologne. According to court records, Örs was accused of manning the ship with nine other people, hanging banners and PKK-Slogans to have shouted. She rejects the allegations. In Germany, investigations against Örs in the case were discontinued, according to her lawyer.

The Cologne native traveled to Turkey in May 2019 to visit her mother, who was then imprisoned - the singer Hozan Cane (stage name) - in prison. Örs was then arrested himself. she sat Remanded custody in Turkey for three months and house arrest for six months, from June last year there was an exit ban. In Cologne, Örs said on Friday that she had been advised against traveling to Turkey in 2019. But as a daughter she thought she had to go there to help her mother.

Looking back on the past two years, she said it was "very hard times." She ruled out a return to Turkey for the time being because there was no democracy and the rule of law there. Only when this has changed will she perhaps rethink, said Örs. Her mother has a court appointment next week. "I very much hope that she comes home next week." Her mother wanted to sing a song in freedom, it was a dream of hers.