Turkey arrests Die Welt reporter for "inciting violence"

Deniz Yucel, who works for Die Welt, was detained nearly two weeks ago and has since been held in police custody. CHP member Baris Yarkadas said the accusation brought against Yucel consist of the articles he wrote along with a tweet and a joke he told a newspaper: "Deniz Yucel's arrest is a blow to freedom of thought".

Authorities initially detained Deniz Yucel, a correspondent for the Die Welt newspaper, on February 14 after he reported on emails that a leftist hacker collective had purportedly obtained from the private account of Berat Albayrak, Turkey's energy minister and the son-in-law of President Tayyip Erdogan.

Pre-trial detention in Turkey can last up to five years, Die Welt says. Yucel, a dual Turkish and German citizen, was the 155th journalist to be imprisoned in Turkey, according to records compiled by P24.

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel called this as "bitter and disappointing" and added that the journalist voluntarily appeared before the authorities when he got informed of the investigation.

Yucel is one of dozens of journalists to have been arrested in Turkey since the coup attempt in July 2016 that led to a crackdown on anti-government activists.

The Turkish authorities have arrested a German-Turkish journalist they accuse of producing terrorist propaganda and undermining the government. Relations between the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have been strained by the coup, but Germany desperately needs to Turkey for its part in a deal to stop the flow of migrants into Europe.

Yücel, who has duel German and Turkish nationality, works for prominent newspaper German Die Welt.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the case had highlighted what he called "dramatic times for Turkey and also hard times for German-Turkish relations".

Turkish officials have cast the arrests as necessary security measures, as the government's war with Kurdish militants intensifies and as Turkey faces a growing number of deadly attacks by extremists belonging to the Islamic State militant group.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said the decision revealed in "glaring light" the difference between the two countries when dealing with matters regarding the freedom of the press.

Fahim reported from Istanbul.

  • Leroy Wright