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  HOME | World (Click here for more)

German Journalist Deniz Yücel Released from Turkish Jail

BERLIN – A German-Turkish journalist who had been held in a prison in Turkey for a year accused of espionage has been released, Die Welt, the German newspaper he works for, said on Friday.

Deniz Yücel’s detention has strained relations between Ankara and Berlin, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had called on Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Thursday for a fast and fair trial for the journalist, who had not been formally accused of anything.

“And finally my client Deniz Yücel was released,” tweeted Yücel’s lawyer, Veysel Ok.

A spokesperson for Germany’s foreign ministry also confirmed Yücel’s liberation, while deputy government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer expressed relief for his family and friends.

Demmer told reporters that the release of the journalist, who had been in jail for exactly a year on Wednesday, was an important step towards improving relations with Turkey.

The foreign ministry spokesperson warned that, while his release was of great significance, it was not the only source of disharmony between the two nations.

Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, meanwhile, thanked the Turkish government for having sped up the process that led to Yücel’s release, pointing out that direct contact with authorities had been going on for months to this end.

The journalist was detained just over a year ago on charges of inciting hatred and spreading propaganda in support of a terrorist organization, in this case the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and United States-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gülen, who the Turkish government blame for the failed coup in July 2016.

Yücel’s imprisonment and the cases of other Germans who have been detained over alleged links to the coup have stifled relations between Turkey and Germany, where more than 3 million citizens of Turkish origin reside.

 

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