Turkey arrests Welt reporter Deniz Yucel on terror charges

Deniz Yucel

German daily Die Welt’s Turkey correspondent Deniz Yucel was officially arrested in Istanbul on Monday. The journalist was taken to the prosecutor’s office earlier today.

Yucel had been taken into custody in Istanbul on 14 February after being summoned by Istanbul police headquarters to give a statement.

He was imprisoned on charges of “terrorist propaganda” and also “inciting hate and enmity in the public.”

According to Deutsche Welle (DW), he was asked about reports concerning Turkey’s Kurdish question and also the hacked emails of Turkey’s Energy Minister Berat Albayrak.

Emails hacked by Marxist hacker group Redhack had revealed details of how Turkey’s pro-government Twitter ‘troll army’ had targeted the opposition and silenced media criticism.

Germany’s foreign ministry posted on Twitter saying “Very hard and an immoderate decision. We will do our best to free Yucel.”

Opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP Baris Yarkadas announced from his personal twitter account that the court had decided for Yucel to be arrested on accusations of ‘being the member of a terrorist organisation’ and ‘terrorist propaganda.’

Speaking to DW, the German Journalist Association’s head, Frank Uberall, said President Erdogan was utilising the state of emergency in Turkey to arrest opposition journalists.

Turkey’s Journalists Union (TGS) released a statement saying Yucel’s imprisonment was an intimidation to all journalists from the Turkish government.

German media have paid widespread attention to the journalist’s imprisonment, while a Twitter campaign under, #FreeDeniz, has been organised to call for his freedom.