Detention period for Die Welt Turkey reporter extended

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People demonstrate for the release of Deniz Yücel, Turkey correspondent of German newspaper "Die Welt" in Berlin. / AFP PHOTO

The period of detention of German daily Die Welt’s Turkey reporter Deniz Yücel, who has been in custody since Feb. 17, was extended on Monday.

The information was shared on the Twitter account of the detained journalist, who has been under investigation over his reporting.

Yücel was detained as part of an investigation for publishing stories on the leaked emails of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak.

German press organizations on Sunday called on Turkish authorities to release Yücel.
After a detention warrant was issued for Yücel, he turned himself in to police in İstanbul last Tuesday.

German Journalists Union (DJV) President Frank Überall, who spoke to the Evrensel daily, said Yücel should be released immediately.

“Journalism is not a crime. Deniz Yücel is not a criminal but a journalist, and he has done nothing other than journalism. So, we demand his immediate release,” said Überall.

The prosecutor conducting the investigation into Yücel, Hasan Yılmaz, cited as offenses “manipulating information received from leaked emails of Albayrak and discrediting the government.” Yücel along with other journalists are accused of trying to create the perception that Albayrak is linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Christian Mihr, director of Reporters Without Borders Germany, also released a statement calling for Yücel’s immediate release. Mihr said the reason behind Yücel’s detention was the critical news reports he wrote.

In the meantime, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, who was asked about Yücel’s detention during a visit to Germany to attend the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, said he does not have any information about the charges leveled at Yücel and that Yücel’s detention concerns the prosecutors.

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