Turkey frees former NASA scientist after 2 years in prison

Ankara [Turkey]: Turkey on Wednesday evening freed a former American NASA scientist, who was sentenced to over seven years in prison on terrorism charges, three years ago.

The release came without any notice, hours after a phone call between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his counterpart from the United States, Donald Trump, The New York Times reported.

The scientist, Serkan Golge, 39, is a Turkish-American citizen and was arrested while on vacation visiting his family in southern Turkey in 2016, following the coup that failed to oust Erdogan.

Kubra Golge, the wife of Golge, was quoted as saying over the telephone that he had just walked free from his prison and was heading back with his parents to their home in the southern city of Hatay.

She said, “I just talked to him on the phone. He is going back to his family,” adding “He was shocked.”

“He said ‘I am very thankful I am out of prison. I am very happy.’ And I cried,” she further said.

The telephonic conversation between Trump and Erdogan was confirmed to The New York Times by a senior Turkish official.