Germany: Imprisonment of Deniz Yücel Harms Ties

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Click to read the article in Turkish/Kurdish

Spokesperson for the government of Germany Steffen Seibert has called for the release of imprisoned citizens of Germany.

Seibert also said that the imprisonment of journalist Deniz Yücel strains ties between the two countries.

According to a report by Deutsche Welle, the spokesperson Seibert said, “The federal government will carry on with their efforts with its current political and diplomatic sources for Deniz Yücel and other inmates who are citizens of Germany to be released”.

About journalist Deniz Yücel who has been in prison since February 27, Seibert said, “This extended imprisonment without an indictment and a proper prosecution process indeed harms ties between Germany and Turkey”.

What happened?

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”. (EKN/TK)


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