Turkey orders German newspaper reporter jailed for 'PKK propaganda'

Turkey orders German newspaper reporter jailed for 'PKK propaganda'
2 min read
A Turkish court sentenced well-known Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yucel to almost three years in jail.

Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yucel was sentenced to three years in jail [Getty]

A Turkish court on Thursday sentenced well-known Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yucel to almost three years in jail in absentia on charges of spreading Kurdish militant propaganda. 

Yucel, 46, journalist for Germany's Die Welt newspaper, was released from a Turkish prison in 2018 after spending a year in detention, which caused tensions in relations between Ankara and Berlin.

He had been arrested after reporting that the email account of the then energy minister, Berat Albayrak, had been hacked. Albayrak, now the finance minister, is President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's son-in-law.

Yucel has been in Germany since his release from the Istanbul prison.

The court in Istanbul on Thursday ordered Yucel's acquittal on charges of "inciting people to hatred and enmity", according to the verdict obtained by AFP

But it sentenced him to two years, nine months and 22 days in prison for "PKK propaganda".

The outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is listed as a terror group by Turkey and its Western allies. 

Yucel was arrested in Turkey after the 2016 failed coup against Erdogan's government which Ankara blamed on US-based Muslim preacher Fethullah Gulen. 

Germany, home to a three million-strong Turkish minority, was a vocal critic of Ankara's crackdown on opponents following the botched coup. 

Turkey is ranked 154th in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index of the Reporters Without Borders.

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