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Prosecutor demands 2 years for Turkish-German journalist in new indictment

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A new indictment drafted by a Turkish prosecutor seeks a prison sentence of up to two years for former Turkey representative of the German Die Welt newspaper Deniz Yücel on insult charges due to his articles about the Armenian genocide and the repression of Kurds in Turkey, Deutsche Welle Turkish service reported.

The indictment for Yücel, a German with Turkish roots, demands a prison sentence of between six months and two years on charges of openly denigrating the Turkish nation and Turkish state under Article 301 of the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK).

Yücel wrote the articles that brought him criminal charges in October 2016 in the Die Welt newspaper. Turkey categorically rejects the mass killings of the Armenians in the final days of the Ottoman Empire as genocide.

The first hearing in the trial will take place on July 1 at the İstanbul Penal Court of First Instance.

A criminal complaint was filed in September 2020.

Another indictment drafted by an İstanbul prosecutor last year demands a prison sentence of up to 15 years, three months for Yücel on charges of “disseminating terrorist propaganda” and “provoking hatred and enmity among the public.”

The prosecutor claims that a piece written by Yücel, dated June 19, 2016, included comments praising the ideology of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.

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.

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