200 people including artists, authors and journalists have made a call for release of Die Welt newspaper reporter Deniz Yücel who has been behind bars for 301 days.
The call was published on news sites and newspapers such as bianet, Evrensel daily, Cumhuriyet daily, BirGün daily, Diken, Journo, Welt, Taz, Süddeutsche Zeitung on December 10.
Among the signatories are U2’s vocalist Bono, director Fatih Akın, Deutsche Welle Chief Editor Ines Pohl, Spiegel and Stern magazines, Die Zeit, Bild, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Tagesspiegel and taz newspapers’ editors-in-chief, Nobel prize laureates Orhan Pamuk, Austrian play writer and novelist Elfriede Jelinek, journalist-writer Swetlana Alexijewitsch, author J.M. Coetzee.
Stressing that still no indictment has been prepared for Yücel, the petition read, “Deniz Yücel has done nothing but practicing journalism and expressing his thoughts freely”.
“Each and every day of this 300 days is 24 hours that he passed innocent and lacking freedom. We demand fair trial and freedom for Deniz Yücel. This demand of ours involves all journalists who are in jail due to political reasons”.
Aleksandar Zivanovic, Alexander Gorkow, Alexander Skipis, Alicja Kwade, Angela Richter, Anne Will, Annette Frier, Annette Milz, Atze Schröder, Axel Prahl, Aycan Demirel, Aydın Engin, Barbara Wenner, Bärbel Schäfer, Bastian Obermayer, Bernd Ulrich, Berthold Kohler, Bettina Gaus, Bettina Rust, Bono, Britt Holubec, Can Gülcü, Carola Dorner, Carolin Emcke, Christian Krug, Christian Nürnberger, Christiane Beerbom, Christoph Gurk, Claudius Seidl, Clemens Schick, Clemens Setz, Cordt Schnibben, Daniel Kehlmann, Daniel Richter, Daniel-Dylan Böhmer, Didier Eribon, Die Toten Hosen, Diedrich Diederichsen, Dieter Kosslick, Dirk von Lotzow, DJ Hell, Doğan Akhanlı, Doreen Jonas, Doris Akrap, Doris Dörrie, Edition Nautilius, Elfriede Jelinek, Else Buschheuer, Emilia Smechowski, Enrico Ippolito , Ersan Mondtag, Eva Müller, Fatih Akın, Florian Schröder, Frank Schätzing, Frauke Böger, Frederik Obermaier, Friederike Kempter, Fritz Pleitgen, Georg Diez, Georg Löwisch, Gerhard Richter, Giovanni di Lorenzo , Günter Wallraff, Hatice Akyün, Heike Makatsch, Helge Malchow, Herfried Münkler, Heribert Prantl, Herta Müller, Hertha BSC, Holger Stark, Holger Steltzner, Igor Levit, Imran Ayata, Ines Pohl, Ingo Schulze, Ingo Zamperoni, Iris Berben, Isabel Allende, Ivo Bozic, Jan Böhmermann, Jan Delay, Jan Josef Liefers, Jan-Ole Gerster, Jana Hensel, Jana Simon, Jasmin Tabatabai, Jens Friebe, JM Coetzee, Jo Lendle, Joachim Meyerhoff, Jochen Wegner, Johann König, Johanna Adorján , Johannes Vogel, Jörg Diehl, Jörg Sundermeier, Jörg Thadeusz, Josef Haslinger, Juli Zeh, Julia Encke, Julian Reichelt, Jürgen Kaube , Kai Schlieter, Kai Wiesinger, Karen Krüger, Katja Riemann, Kemal Hür, Klaas Heufer-Umlauf, Klaus Walter, Konstantin Wecker, Kurt Kister, Lars Eidinger, Leo Fischer, Lorenz Maroldt, Lukas Bärfuss, Manuela Bojadzijev, Marc Rath, Marc Sinan, Marek Lieberberg, Maren Kroymann, Margarete Stokowski , Maria Triandafillidu, Mario Sixtus , Matthias Kalle , Matthias Neumann, Maybrit Illner, Mely Kiyak, Michael Brake, Michael Hardt, Michel Friedmann, Mohamed Amjahid, Moritz Hürtgen, Moritz Rinke, Mustafa Ünalan, Navid Kermani, Nicolette Krebitz, Nikolaus Brender, Nils Minkmar, Nora Bossong, Nora Tschirner, Oliver Welke, Orhan Pamuk, Oskar Roehler, Osman Okkan, Özlem Gezer, Özlem Topçu, Palina Rojinski, Petra Gerster, Philipp Käßbohrer, Rafael Buschmann, Rainer Esser, Ralf Kabelka, Richard Sennett, Robert Domes, Robert Menasse, Ronja von Rönne , Sascha Lehnartz, Sebastian Koch, Shahak Shapira, Shermin Langhoff, Sibylle Berg, Silke Burmester, Slavoj Zizek, Sookee, Stefan Kuzmany, Stefan Rudnick, Stefanie Kron, Steffen Küßner, Stephan-Andreas Casdorff, Sting, Swetlana Alexijewitsch, T.C. Boyle, Tanit Koch, Tanjev Schultz, Taşkın Aydoğan, Teju Cole, Terézia Mora, Thea Dorn, Thees Uhlmann, Thomas Lehr, Thomas Lindner, Til Schweiger, Tim Wolff, Timm Klotzek, Tobias Rapp, Tom Kraushaar, Ulf Poschardt, Ülkü Schneider-Gürkan, Ulrich Gutmair , Uwe Vorkötter, Volker Kutscher, Volker Schlöndorff, Werner D'Inka, Wolfang Niedecken, Wolfgang Krach, Wolfgang Tillmans, Zoë Beck.
Kept in detention in İstanbul Security Directorate for 13 days, Die Welt newspaper reporter to Turkey Deniz Yücel was brought to İstanbul Justice Palace in Çağlayan on February 27 by İstanbul Organized Crimes Department units.
According to the report by BirGün daily, Yücel was questioned about his interview with Cemil Bayık, one of the founders of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and council member of Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) in 2015, reports about President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Yüksekova and Cizre.
As the part of the same operation, Diken news site editor Tunca Öğreten, Dicle News Diyarbakır Bureau Chief editor Ömer Çelik and BirGün daily newspaper Executive Official Mahir Kanaat were arrested on January 18, 2017. Ömer Çelik was released on October 24, Kanaat and Öğreten were released on December 6, 2017.
Along with Öğreten, Çelik and Kanat, DİHA reporter Metin Yoksu, Yolculuk Newspaper Chief Editor Eray Sargın and ETHA Executive Official Derya Okatan who were detained on December 25, 2016, were released.
Covering house raids that were conducted on December 25, pro-government Sabah daily newspaper reported that Deniz Yücel’s name was included as part of the investigation.
President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said:
“This man [Deniz Yılmaz] is a terrorist, not journalists and unfortunately the German government lumps my ministers together with this terrorist. The problem lies here.
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel told me ‘We would be glad if you free him’. I told her he is not a journalist but terrorist. Deniz Yücel hid in the German Consulate General. This man is a terrorist not journalist”. (BK/TK)