Responding to a Turkish court’s decision yesterday to remand Deniz Yücel, a Turkish-German journalist working for the German newspaper Die Welt, in custody pending a trial on charges of propaganda and incitement to hatred, John Dalhuisen, Director for Europe and Central Asia at Amnesty International, said:
“The detention of Deniz Yücel, a Turkish-German national, marks a new chapter in the Turkish authorities’ crackdown on freedom of expression. Not content with their drive to purge the Turkish media of all dissent, the Turkish authorities have now stepped up their attacks against foreign outlets reporting within the country.
“Deniz Yücel has already spent 13 days in police detention. He now joins the ranks of more than 120 journalists and media workers in Turkey who have been imprisoned awaiting trial since the attempted coup in July 2016 which triggered the government crackdown. Turkey now has the dubious honour of being the world’s biggest jailer of journalists, and free media in the country is in its death throes.
“We are urging the Turkish authorities to release Deniz Yücel and all other journalists in pre-trial detention immediately and unconditionally, and to cease this assault on freedom of expression and dissident voices. Journalism is not a crime – the media blackout in Turkey must end now.”