Merkel Pleads for Release of Jailed German Journalist in Turkey

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel has demanded the release of German journalist Deniz Yucel from Turkish custody.

Merkel called on Turkey to free Yucel and said Wednesday night that “independent journalism must be able to exist; journalists must be able to do their job.”

Yucel, 43, who was detained in Istanbul on Feb. 14 over his reports in German daily Welt about a hacker attack on the email account of Turkey’s energy minister, wrote defiantly in Welt on Thursday that “even though they robbed my freedom, their interrogations and reasoning still make me laugh.”

Yucel, who has both German and Turkish citizenship, was jailed Monday pending a trial on charges of terrorist propaganda and inciting hatred. On Wednesday he was taken to a prison in Silivri, 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Istanbul.

Ilkay Yucel (L), the sister of journalist Deniz Yucel detained in Turkey, takes part in a protest in support of her brother on February 25, 2017 in Floersheim near Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. Dozens of German lawmakers on February 24, 2017 called on Turkey to release the journalist for the German Die Welt newspaper who is being held on terrorism-related charges. The German daily said its correspondent Deniz Yucel, 43, was detained on February 18 and his apartment searched in connection with news reports on an attack by hackers on the email account of Turkey's energy minister. Yucel originates from Floersheim. / AFP / dpa / Andreas Arnold / Germany OUT        (Photo credit should read ANDREAS ARNOLD/AFP/Getty Images)

Ilkay Yucel (L), the sister of journalist Deniz Yucel detained in Turkey, takes part in a protest in support of her brother on February 25, 2017 in Floersheim near Frankfurt am Main, western Germany. (ANDREAS ARNOLD/AFP/Getty)


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