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News > World

Turkey: German Journalist Accused of 'Propaganda' to Be Freed

  • Deniz Yucel is one of the 28 Germans who were imprisoned in Turkey after the failed 2016 coup.

    Deniz Yucel is one of the 28 Germans who were imprisoned in Turkey after the failed 2016 coup. | Photo: Reuters

Published 16 February 2018

Yucel was kept in prison without formal charges for a year. 

After a year of imprisonment, German journalist Denis Yucel's lawyer announced on Friday: "there is a decision to free my client." Germany's Foreign Affairs Ministry confirmed the news, saying Yucel's release was the result of German diplomatic efforts and asked observers to: "wait and see what happens within the next hours." He is expected to leave Turkey now. 

German-Turkish Relations 'Strained' by Journalist Deniz Yucel's Ongoing Imprisonment

Deniz Yucel, a journalist for the German newspaper Die Welt, was arrested in Istanbul a year ago after reporting that the Turkish energy minister's email account had been hacked.

After the report, Yucel, who has both German and Turkish citizenship, was accused by Turkey's authorities of writing terrorist propaganda in favor of Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) and Fethullah Gulen, who the Turkish government identifies as a key player in the failed attempted coup in July of 2016.

Yucel was kept in prison for a year without formal charges, leading many to argue he was a political prisoner.

Among the eight articles Turkish authorities used as proof of Yucel's propaganda there is one criticizing president Erdogan's concentration of power, and another interviewing the vice president of the PKK, considered by the Turkish government as a terrorist organization.       

Deniz Yucel is among the over 100 journalists and writers arrested after the failed coup attempt of 2016 against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

News of his release came a day after German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim. During a joint press conference, Merkel reiterated the importance of resolving this case for the German government.

A spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Ulrike Demmer, said Yucel’s liberation was an essential step in improving relations between Germany and Turkey.  

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