March 2018
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International News
Turkey seeks 18 years jail for German-Turkish journalist
(Istanbul, Feb 17, 2018):An Istanbul court today ordered the conditional release of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel after receiving an indictment from prosecutors seeking a prison sentence of up to 18 years, state media reported.

The prosecutors accused the 44-year-old Yucel of “making terror propaganda” and “inciting public hatred and hostility”, state-run news agency Anadolu said.

Yucels official indictment comes after his one-year incarceration without charge badly affected Turkey’s ties with Germany.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim earlier this week said he hoped Yucel would soon be set free and insisted that Turkish courts were independent.

Meanwhile German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the detention of Yucel, and other German citizens, “clouded” relations and marked a continuing “burden”.

Yucels lawyer and employer Die Welt had announced the decision to release the journalist, who was imprisoned in Silivri prison on the outskirts of Istanbul.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Yucel should be able to leave Turkey.

Many German newspapers marked Yucels the first year in custody without charge with front page stories this week, when the #FreeDeniz campaign held a major solidarity event in the German capital.

An Istanbul court in December released German journalist Mesale Tolu, who was held for over half a year on charges of membership of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), which is banned in Turkey as a terror organisation.

She was freed into judicial control which means Tolu will have to report to the authorities every week and cannot leave the country.

Yucel was one of many German nationals detained under the state of emergency imposed in Turkey following the July 2016 attempted overthrow of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Since then, over 55,000 people have been arrested in a widescale crackdown against suspected coup-plotters and alleged members of terrorist organisations, which has been criticised by Berlin and Turkeys other Western allies.

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