German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted imprisoned journalist Deniz Yücel’s wife Dilek Mayatürk Yücel in her office in the German Parliament, Bianet reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, Steffen Seibert, spokesperson for Federal Government, German Chancellor Merkel and Dilek Mayatürk Yücel’s meeting has been announced on Twitter. Seibert stated that Merkel and Yücel discussed detention conditions of Deniz Yücel for whom an indictment hasn’t been prepared for 8 months.
Journalist Deniz Yücel, Die Welt correspondent to Turkey, was detained on February 14, 2017 in an investigation launched into the news reports e-mail leakage of Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-inlaw and the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Berat Albayrak. He was later arrested on February 27, 2017 and sent to Silivri Prison in İstanbul.
Upon an application submitted to the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) the court had granted Turkey an extension of time for government of Turkey to send its statement of defense. The extension ended on October 23, 2017
German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel had said that German journalist Deniz Yücel, who has been jailed in Turkey since Feb. 14, is being held hostage by Turkey, Deutsche Welle reported on August. “Deniz Yücel is still in prison because in my opinion Turkey has taken him hostage,” said Gabriel in an interview with Buzzfeed News Deutschland.
In April Erdoğan said the extradition of Turkish-German journalist Yücel to Germany will never take place as long as he is president. Erdoğan has on many occasions accused Yücel of being a German agent and a representative of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Centre for Freedom (SCF) has showed that 253 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of October 24, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 229 are arrested pending trial, only 24 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 133 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.
Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the Gülen movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt.