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Turkish prosecutor seeks up to 15 years in prison for journalist Deniz Yücel

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An İstanbul prosecutor has demanded a prison sentence of up to 15 years, three months for German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel on charges of “disseminating terrorist propaganda” and “provoking hatred and enmity among the public,” Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported on Thursday.

The prosecutor has claimed that a piece written by Yücel, dated June 19, 2016, included comments praising the ideology of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The trial was adjourned until April 2, after Yücel’s lawyer demanded additional time to prepare their defense.

Yücel is being represented by his attorney and is not expected to appear in court during the proceedings.

Yücel was jailed in Turkey for nearly a year, from February 2017 to February 2018, which led to a rift between the Turkish and German governments, with Berlin using diplomatic channels to secure his release.

After his release, he returned Germany where he published a book recounting his detention in Turkey.

In May 2019 he testified before a Berlin court and revealed the physical and psychological abuse he was subjected to during his detention, holding Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan personally responsible for the torture he endured.

Turkey has been described by observers as one of the biggest jailers of journalists in the world. The country ranked 157th out of 180 countries in the 2019 Press Freedom Index released by Reporters Without Borders.

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