12 German cities will hold events in support of the arrested Turkish journalist

Tue, 28.02.2017 17:20

Protests are planned in 12 German cities on Tuesday after a Turkish court ordered a journalist from Die Welt newspaper to be jailed pending a trial on charges including spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization.

Deniz Yucel, who holds both German and Turkish citizenship, was detained on February 14 and was formally arrested Monday night, drawing criticism in Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel described the court order as "bitter and disappointing."

The reporter wrote a story in September on orchestrated cyber harassment of government critics, using emails from the account of Turkish Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, who is the son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The emails had been published online by Wikileaks and a local Turkish hacker group.

"This case has the potential to further burden the already very strained relations between Germany and Turkey," said Niels Annen, foreign affairs spokesman for the Social Democrats (SPD) in parliament.

"We do not want that, but we cannot simply be silent when the fundamental freedoms of a country are violated and ignored," Annen told Deutschlandfunk radio.

Sezgin Tanrikulu from Turkey's main opposition bloc in parliament, the People's Republican Party (CHP), was critical of the arrest.

"He was arrested solely for his reporting, this is certainly not a criminal offence," he told dpa, adding that the jailing could serve as a cautionary message to other foreign journalists in Turkey.

Mustafa Yeneroglu, a parliamentarian from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), told dpa he was concerned that the use of the propaganda concept against Yucel might be going "too far."

However, he was also critical of Yucel's reporting saying it was "more activist that journalist" and gave a distorted view of the country and government, noting in particular stories about the Kurdish issue.

The #FreeDeniz initiative is calling on critics of Deniz Yucel's detention to join car processions in Berlin, Bielefeld, Bremen, Frankfurt, Hanover, Hamburg, Cologne, Leipzig, Munich, as well as the Austrian cities of Vienna and Graz and the Swiss city of Zurich.

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Source: eblnews.com

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