SHARE
COPY LINK

TOURISM

‘Radical’ French student on bail in Turkey

A French-Turkish student sentenced last week to more than five years in prison for terrorist propaganda on Monday paid bail of 10,000 Turkish lira (€4,250) enabling her to return to France pending an appeal, her lawyer said.

'Radical' French student on bail in Turkey
Photo: Bulent Kilic/AFP

The court in Bursa, northwestern Turkey,  agreed the bail terms immediately after convicting the 21-year-old Sevil Sevimli on Friday.

"I paid her bail to the court today," her lawyer Inayet Aksu said. "She now has the right to leave Turkish territory at any time," he said, adding that the date for her return to France has not yet been set.

Sevimli's friends and supporters hailed the news, indicating that she may return to the central-eastern French city of Lyon, where she studied before arriving in Turkey in early 2012, as early as Wednesday.

Born in France to Turkish Kurd parents, Sevimli was completing a final year of studies in Turkey with Erasmus, an inter-European university exchange programme, at the time of her arrest. She had joined a May Day parade in Istanbul and went on trial in September on charges punishable by up to 32 years in prison. 

Although Sevimli was initially accused of belonging to a terrorist organisation, the court sentenced her to five years and two months in prison for disseminating propaganda on behalf of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), which is listed as a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union. She has denied the accusations.

Since the 1970s, the DHKP-C has been behind numerous attacks against the Turkish state that have killed dozens. This month it claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at the US embassy in Ankara that killed a Turkish security guard.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

TOURISM

Tourism minister: Book your French ski holiday now

France’s ski resorts will be open for business this winter, tourism minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne has promised - but no decision has yet been taken on whether a health pass will be required to use ski lifts.

Skiers at a French Alpine resort
Photo: Philippe Desmazes / AFP

“This winter, it’s open, the resorts are open,” Lemoyne told France 2’s 4 Vérités programme.

“Compared to last year, we have the vaccine,” he said, adding that he would “invite those who have not yet done so to [book], because … there will soon be no more room.”

And he promised an answer ‘in the next few days’ to the question of whether health passes would be required for winter holidaymakers to use ski lifts. “Discussions are underway with the professionals,” he said.

The stakes are high: the closure of ski lifts last winter cost manufacturers and ski shops nearly a billion euros. 

This year ski lifts will remain open, but a health pass may be necessary to access them. The health pass is already compulsory for après ski activities such as visits to bars, cafés and restaurants.

COMPARE The Covid rules in place at ski resorts around Europe

Many town halls and communities which depend on winter sports have found it difficult or impossible to make ends meet.

“It’s time for the French mountains to revive,” Lemoyne said, pointing to the fact that the government has provided “more than €6 billion” in aid to the sector.

Winter tourism professionals, however, have said that they are struggling to recruit for the winter season.

“Restaurant and bars are very affected,” by the recruitment crisis, one expert told Franceinfo, blaming a lack of urgency from authorities towards the winter holiday industry.

“We are all asking ourselves what we should do tomorrow to find full employment in the resort,” the expert added.

Post-Brexit visa and work permit rules mean that ski businesses have found it difficult to recruit Brits for short-term, seasonal positions.

SHOW COMMENTS