German government calls for fair treatment

Journalist in detention in Turkey German government calls for fair treatment

The German government is calling on the Turkish judiciary to ensure that the detained journalist Deniz Yücel is assured of fair treatment in line with the rule of law. The German-Turkish journalist was detained by police in Istanbul a week ago.

"The case of 'Deniz Yücel' is vitally important to the German government, said Federal Foreign Office spokesperson Martin Schäfer on Monday at the government press conference, firstly because it is symbolic of Germany’s commitment to the freedom of the press. Freedom of opinion and freedom of the press are fundamental rights, continued the spokesperson. The Federal Foreign Office always stands up for the rights of the German media and German journalists to report well and freely in other countries, he said.

Intensive contact with the German-Turkish journalist

This also, "specifically applies to the case of Deniz Yücel" Martin Schäfer continued. Over the last few months, the Federal Foreign Office has been in close contact with the German-Turkish journalist and his editorial office, in view of the possibility that the Turkish judiciary might level accusations against Deniz Yücel.

Deniz Yücel was detained by police on Tuesday (14 February). Martin Schäfer reported that he is waiting for his case to be heard by the responsible public prosecutor in Istanbul. The state of emergency currently in force in Turkey, means that he can legally be held for up to 14 days.

"We intend to do all we can to ensure that Mr Yücel has the support of a lawyer and of German consular services," said the Federal Foreign Office spokesperson. The Federal Foreign Office will be doing what it can to have the journalist released from detention and to ensure that he is not then remanded in custody. "The decisions will, however, be made by the Turkish judiciary," said Martin Schäfer. "We will wait and see what happens."

Angela Merkel speaks with Turkish Prime Minister

Last Saturday, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, Chancellor Angela Merkel urged the Turkish government to assure fair treatment of the journalist. Federal government spokesperson Steffen Seibert said that Angela Merkel had discussed the case in depth when she met Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım.

Angela Merkel, he reported, had pointed out how important it is for Deniz Yücel to receive the full support of the German consular service. "The Chancellor expressed the expectation of the German government that Deniz Yücel will be treated fairly, in line with the rule of law."