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1ST LEAD German newspaper correspondent detained in Turkey By Can Merey, dpa

Europe
17.02.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Istanbul (dpa) - A correspondent at Germany‘s Die Welt newspaper, who was being sought by the authorities in Turkey, has handed himself in to police and been formally detained, the newspaper confirmed to dpa on Friday.

Deniz Yucel, Turkey correspondent for the daily newspaper, is the first German journalist to be taken into custody amid Turkey‘s ongoing state of emergency, under which the government has shuttered dozens of media outlets and jailed scores of Turkish journalists.

His lawyers are working under the assumption that he is being sought in connection with terrorism-related allegations, the newspaper confirmed. Yucel‘s apartment has been searched by police.

The prosecutors have provided no information to his lawyers on the allegations against him, according to Die Welt. The 43-year-old is a dual citizen of Germany and Turkey and his case is therefore regarded by the Turkish authorities as a domestic one.

Under the ongoing state of emergency, he can be kept in detention for up to 14 days before a judge would be required to decide whether he should be remanded in custody.

Yucel first arrived at the police station on Tuesday. He first learned of possible measures against him back in December, through a report in a pro-government newspaper.

Ulf Poschardt, the editor-in-chief of Die Welt, said in a statement to dpa: "The Turkish government has repeatedly noted that Turkey is a state governed by the rule of law. This is why we believe that a fair process will result in him being declared innocent."

More than 120 media workers are currently jailed in Turkey, according to the European Federation of Journalists. The government rejects this figure and insists no one has been imprisoned simply for writing news articles.

In December, a Wall Street Journal correspondent was detained for two days, apparently over a tweet. He left the country shortly thereafter. A number of foreign journalists last year were denied entry to the country.

Yucel wrote a story for Die Welt in September about the government‘s use of trolls on social media, based in part on emails that had been published by Wikileaks and a domestic group known as Red Hack.

The emails were apparently from the inbox of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s son-in-law, Berat Albayrak, who is also the energy minister. Red Hack is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey.

All the information in Yucel‘s articles was in the public domain.

 

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