The “Journalist of the Year” award granted by Medium Magazin, which is a media sector magazine published in Germany, will be given to Deniz Yücel and #FreeDeniz initiative formed for Yücel to be released.
Medium Magazin jury had stated that the award will be given to Yücel and his friends to “honor the journalists who have been unjustly arrested and determinately struggling for freedom of expression in Turkey”.
“We didn’t engage in dirty negotiations but…”
Yücel wrote “I am grateful for your support. I couldn’t respond but thanks for your understanding. We didn’t engage in dirty negotiations but we like calm Sunday” down the photo he shared with his wife Dilek Mayatürk Yücel at the weekend.
The jury had announced their decision about the award last December.
Kept in Silivri prison for over a year, journalist Yücel was released on Friday.
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.
Yücel was released on February 16 following 367 days in detention. (PT/TK)
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