03:20 GMT +313 November 2019
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    Deniz Yücel, a German journalist with Die Welt.

    German-Turkish Journalist Yucel's 100 Days in Detention After Gov't Crackdown

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    German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel has been detained in Turkey for 100 days, as at May 24, following a crackdown on the media by the government in Ankara which has come in for growing criticism over its reaction to the failed coup of July 2016.

    Yucel, a German-Turkish journalist working for Die Welt newspaper was arrested and detained on charges of supporting a terrorist organization and inciting public violence. He is one of six German citizens detained in the crackdown on followers of exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, now living in the US, who Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames for being behind the failed coup, July 2016.

    He is accused of "propaganda for a terrorist organization and incitement of the population," although the original reason for his detention remains unclear.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said her government would "do everything in its power" to release the journalist.

    Human Rights Violation

    His wife, Dilek Mayaturk Yucel, in a letter to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, said that he had been kept in solitary confinement, which "violates his human rights."

    "Isolation can lead to physical and psychological damage, the effects of which can always crop up abruptly. The imposed isolation is a type of psychological torture," she wrote.

    ​In March 2017, his lawyers submitted an application arguing that his imprisonment violated his physical integrity, personal freedoms, right to a fair trial, and right to freedom of expression, among other legal breaches.

    Yucel's predicament highlights the continuing standoff between Erdogan and Europe, where there has been string criticism of his crackdown on the media and opposition since the failed coup of July 2016.

    The criticism grew after Erdogan did away with the office of prime minister — following a referendum in April — giving him sweeping new presidential powers.

    ​The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe Council of Europe (PACE) voted, April 25, to reopen the monitoring procedure in respect of Turkey until "serious concerns" about respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law "are addressed in a satisfactory manner."

    The resolution adopted calls on the Turkish authorities urgently to take measures such as lifting the state of emergency "as soon as possible," halting the promulgation of emergency decree laws which bypass parliamentary procedures "unless strictly needed" and releasing all the politicians, officials and journalists detained pending trial.


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    free speech, press freedom, journalism, human rights, Turkish referendum, coup attempt in Turkey, Deniz Yucel, Angela Merkel, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Germany, Turkey
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