Kept in prison for 11 months in Turkey, Die Welt newspaper report Deniz Yücel interviewed to Germany news agency dpa via his lawyers.
Concerning the claim that Yücel is mentioned in the arms trade between Turkey and Germany, Yücel said, “I don’t want to get involved in a dirty deal”.
Qualifying the isolation decision against himself as “a torture method”, Yücel stated that the isolation hasn’t ended but has been eased but frequency of the monitoring during his meeting with his wife has been increased.
Concerning his indictment not still being prepared, Yücel said, “Either prosecution forgot about me or they haven’t received an instruction yet”. As to the judicial freedom in Turkey, Yücel said:
“The impression that government of Turkey is merely an observer in my case and in cases of my many colleagues from Turkey is a lie. The government is not an observer; it is officially a side”.
Saying that the solidarity shown following his arrest eliminated his concern that he “could be forgotten in prison”, Yücel added that he is very grateful to the people who wrote letter to him but only a very few of them were delivered to them.
Is he a leverage in the arms deal between Turkey and Germany?
In an interview to Der Spiegel at the beginning of this month, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany Sigmar Gabriel touched on the arms export of Germany to Turkey.
Noting that “German government hasn’t approved a large number of arms sales”, Gabriel said that the situation won’t change “unless Yücel case is resolved”.
In his statement he issued following his meeting with his counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in Germany on January 6, Gabriel said, “I in no way mixed Deniz Yücel case with defense issues”.
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”. (EC/EA/TK)
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