Turkish prosecutors seek up to 2 years in jail for journalist Deniz Yücel in new investigation

Istanbul prosecutors have sought up to two years in jail for Deniz Yücel over charges of “denigrating the Turkish nation and the Turkish Republic” as part of a new indictment filed against the German-Turkish journalist.

Duvar English

Turkish prosecutors have sought up to two years in jail for German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel as part of a new investigation launched against the former Turkey representative of Die Welt newspaper, daily Evrensel reported on May 12.

Yücel is accused of “denigrating the Turkish nation and the Turkish Republic” through his two articles published in Die Welt in 2016.

The first hearing with regards to the new case will take place on July 1 at the Istanbul Penal Court of First Instance.

Yücel will be asked to testify by means of a letter rogatory, in which the Turkish court requests that the court overseas hear the defendant's testimony on its behalf.

On July 16, 2020, the Istanbul 32nd Heavy Penal Court sentenced Yücel to two years and nine months in jail over “making propaganda for a terrorist organization.” The journalist was acquitted on a separate charge of “inciting people to hatred and hostility.”

Yücel was detained and subsequently placed in pre-trial detention on Feb. 27, 2017.

The allegations against the journalist related to several articles he published in 2016 about the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the movement headed by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen.

Yücel was released on Feb. 16, 2018 after a year behind bars. On the same day of his release, Yücel left Turkey. From then on, he was tried in absentia.

In addition to the main ruling, the prosecutors later filed additional charges against Yücel for “denigrating the Turkish nation and the Turkish Republic.”