German journalist released from prison in Turkey

A spokesperson for Germany's Foreign Minister confirmed Yucel's release.

Yücel, Die Welt's Istanbul correspondent who was arrested on February 14, was accused of spreading terror propaganda for the PKK and inciting hatred. The top court said it was not ruling on the details of the case but on trial procedure.

Separately on Friday, German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel, who was detained in Turkey a year ago, has been indicted for alleged security offences but a court has made a decision to release him pending trial, state-run Turkish news agency Anadolu said on Friday.

Gauri van Gulik, Europe Director for Amnesty International, said their sentencing had "drained the joy from celebrations" over Yucel's release.

The arrest of Yucel and around a dozen German citizens, on suspicion of aiding terrorist groups, had been a source of friction between the two countries.

Germany, home to a three-million-strong ethnic Turkish minority, has strongly criticised Erdogan's rights record, especially during his government's mass crackdown following the failed 2016 coup. More than 55,000 people have been arrested in the clampdown.

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The group's crimes included an escrow service for illicit digital currency transactions, according to the indictment . Moderators moderated one or two specific sub-forums within their areas of subject-matter expertise.


Many German newspapers had on Wednesday marked Yucel's first full year in custody without charge with front-page stories and the #FreeDeniz campaign held a major solidarity event in Berlin.

"Finally! Best news ever".

Meanwhile German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the detention of Yucel, and other German citizens, "clouded" relations and marked a continuing "burden".

In December, an Istanbul court released Turkish-born German journalist Mesale Tolu, who was held for over half a year on a charge of membership in the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party (MLKP), which is banned in Turkey as what Ankara calls a terror organization.

Today was a "good day for us all", the German foreign minister added. He denies the accusations.

  • Sonia Alvarado