The first hearing of the journalist Deniz Yücel was held at the İstanbul 32nd Heavy Penal Court yesterday (June 28).
The court board rejected the acquittal request of Deniz Yücel and adjourned his next hearing to December 20, 2018.
A court case was filed against Deniz Yücel on charges of "propagandizing for a terrorist organization" and "inciting the public to enmity and hatred". Yücel faces a prison sentence of four to 18 years.
Attorney Ok: Yücel was targeted by pro-government media and politicians
As reported by Burcu Karakaş from Deutsche Welle Türkçe, the attorney of Yücel, Veysel Ok emphasized that his client was held in custody for 13 days though he voluntarily went to the Security Directorate to give deposition.
Arguing that the Prosecutor's Office started to search for evidence after Yücel was detained, Ok also stated, "The pro-government media and politicians targeted Yücel and accused him of being an agent." Ok demanded that his client be immediately acquitted of the pressed charges.
Yücel's request for acquittal has been rejected
The court board rejected the immediate acquittal request of Deniz Yücel on the ground that the necessary conditions have not come into existence.
The board also ruled that Yücel, who is currently abroad, shall give his deposition to a court near his place of residence.
The next hearing of Yücel will be held on December 20, 2018.
Kept in detention in İstanbul Security Directorate for 13 days, Die Welt newspaper reporter to Turkey Deniz Yücel was brought to İstanbul Justice Palace in Çağlayan on February 27 by İstanbul Organized Crimes Department units.
According to the report by BirGün daily, Yücel was questioned about his interview with Cemil Bayık, one of the founders of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and council member of Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) in 2015, reports about President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Yüksekova and Cizre.
As the part of the same operation, Diken news site editor Tunca Öğreten, Dicle News Diyarbakır Bureau Chief editor Ömer Çelik and BirGün daily newspaper Executive Official Mahir Kanaat were arrested on January 18, 2017. Ömer Çelik was released on October 24, Kanaat and Öğreten were released on December 6, 2017.
Along with Öğreten, Çelik and Kanat, DİHA reporter Metin Yoksu, Yolculuk Newspaper Chief Editor Eray Sargın and ETHA Executive Official Derya Okatan who were detained on December 25, 2016, were released.
Covering house raids that were conducted on December 25, pro-government Sabah daily newspaper reported that Deniz Yücel's name was included as part of the investigation.
President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said:
"This man [Deniz Yılmaz] is a terrorist, not journalists and unfortunately the German government lumps my ministers together with this terrorist. The problem lies here.
"German Chancellor Angela Merkel told me 'We would be glad if you free him'. I told her he is not a journalist but terrorist. Deniz Yücel hid in the German Consulate General. This man is a terrorist not journalist".
Of the other arrestees Çelik was released in the first and Tunca was released in the second hearing.
Deniz Yücel was released on February 16, 2018 after being arrested for one year. (EKN/SD)
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