ISTANBUL, Turkey (A.W.)—According to reports, jailed Turkish-Armenian intellectual, travel writer, entrepreneur, and researcher Sevan Nişanyan has escaped prison and fled Turkey.
Nişanyan was jailed on Dec. 2, 2014 for “construction infractions.” “The bird has flown. Wish the same for 80 million left behind,” Nişanyan said in a Tweet on July 14.
Nişanyan confirmed the reports to Turkish Habertürk news agency by phone but declined to give details of when and how he managed his escape. According to some reports, Nişanyan was allowed to leave prison for one day every three months and simply did not return after his latest sanctioned leave.
Nişanyan was sentenced to a total of 17 years in a number of cases, Agos news reported.
“If Nişanyan really has escaped from prison, I would like to congratulate him,” said Turkish-Armenian journalist Hayko Bağdat, who has been living in exile in Germany, in a tweet.
Nişanyan came to public attention in Turkey in January, when he announced that Turkey’s Justice Ministry had banned all newspapers and books from prisons except for the Quran as of Jan. 9.
The Armenian Weekly will be closely following developments and provide updates as they become available.