Deniz Yucel detained for hacked emails, remanded on Gulenist charge, jailed for PKK propaganda

Deniz Yucel

Imprisoned German daily Welt correspondent Deniz Yucel has said he has been kept in an isolated room in Silivri Prison since his arrest on charges of “terrorist propaganda” and also “inciting hate and enmity in the public,” on 27 February.

Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy Safak Pavey visited Yucel on Saturday and delivered his message to the Welt newspaper.

In his message, Yucel said he was being kept in a four-m² cell alone. He stressed the complicated justification for his arrest saying, “I was taken into custody regarding the hacked emails of Minister Albayrak, then I was kept in prison for being a member of Gulenist movement. Finally they arrested me for PKK propaganda.”

According to Deutsche Welle (DW), Yucel was reporting on Turkey’s Kurdish question and also the hacked emails of Turkey’s Energy Minister Berat Albayrak. The emails hacked by Marxist hacker group Redhack had revealed details of how Turkey’s pro-government Twitter ‘troll army’ had targeted the opposition and silenced media criticism.

On Friday President Erdogan described Deniz Yucel as a ‘PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] terrorist’ and claimed that Yucel was also a ‘German agent’.

“This man, a German agent and a representative of the PKK, hid in the German embassy for a month. We asked German authorities to hand him over but they didn’t. Somehow, finally they did and he was arrested.” Erdogan said.

In his message Yucel also said he’d been treated with respect but that it was torture to be kept alone. “I see a six-meter wall when I look out the window. However, I am healthy and well and can see sky through the barb wire.”

In the message published in Welt today, the journalist said he was not allowed to write in German and his connection to the outside world had been cut. “I am awaiting letters from the ‘outside,'” he said adding that neither the situation in Turkey nor his imprisonment was permanent.

Die Welt featuring ‘In Erdogan’s World’ , 5 March 2017

Welt published Yucel’s message and Erdogan’s accusations against the imprisoned journalist on its front page, with the headline “Deniz Yucel is just a journalist, nothing more”.

The eight-page report’s headline ‘In Erdogans Welt’ meaning ‘In Erdogan’s World’ also mentioned the situation of hundreds of imprisoned journalists and politicians and the ‘unlawful policies’ currently implemented in Turkey.

The war of words between Turkey and Germany have escalated since Yucel’s arrest. German authorities cancelled meetings to be held in Germany by Turkish ministers recently, prompting Ankara to accuse the country of “supporting terrorist groups”.

The Turkish government has been criticised and accused of using the “terrorist” label to silence opposition forces since last year’s coup attempt.