An Istanbul prosecutor on Feb. 13 demanded a prison sentence of up to 15 years and three months for German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel on charges of “disseminating terrorist propaganda” and “provoking hatred and enmity among the public,” state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
In a hearing held at the Istanbul 32 Heavy Penal Court, the prosecutor presented his final legal opinion (“esas hakkındaki mütalaa”) regarding the case, seeking a jail sentence of between two years, three months and 15 years, three months.
The trial was adjourned until April 2, as Yücel’s lawyer Veysel Ok demanded additional time to prepare for defense.
Yücel, a former Turkey correspondent for newspaper Die Welt, was jailed in Turkey for nearly one year, from February 2017 to February 2018 – without a formal indictment. The charges against Yücel concern an interview he conducted with Cemil Bayık, a founding member and top leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
Once released, Yücel went back to Germany, but still faces trial in Turkey. His arrest in 2017 prompted a sharp deterioration in relations between Ankara and Berlin.
Turkey’s Constitutional Court in June 2019 ruled that Yücel’s arrest had violated his rights to personal security and liberty as well as his right to freedom of expression.
The top court also ruled to pay Yücel 25,000 Turkish Liras in reparations for his unlawful imprisonment.