Jailed journalist Deniz Yücel, who works for the German Die Welt newspaper and has been kept in pre-trial detention in Turkey since Feb. 27, has said all he wants is a fair trial and there is no address he can be extradited to.
An article Yücel wrote for the Die Welt daily from the Silivri Prison where he is incarcerated was published by the daily on Thursday.
Yücel, who was detained in Turkey on Feb. 14 as part of an investigation for publishing stories on the leaked emails of Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, was arrested by a court on Feb. 27.
In the article, Yücel criticized President Erdoğan for directing accusations at him even before he stood a trial.
Erdoğan accused Yücel of being a “German agent” and a “representative of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party [PKK]” on many occasions.
Last month, Erdoğan also said the extradition of Yücel will never take place as long as he is president.
Yücel said he does not want to be extradited to anywhere and he has no address where he can be extradited to. “All I want is a fair [trial] process,” he wrote.
Yücel also said accusation of someone who has not yet stood trial is unacceptable in a country which is ruled by law. The journalist also vowed to continue the struggle for democracy, justice and freedoms in Turkey when he is released from jail.
Turkey stands out from the crowd by a distant margin by holding a record number of 235 journalists and media workers behind bars, breaking an all time world record. More than half of the journalists who are in prison around the world are now located in Turkey, a member of the Council of Europe (CoE) and a candidate member for the European Union (EU).
Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has documented that 235 journalists are now in jails, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 214 are arrested pending trial, only 21 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 103 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey. Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the coup attempt. (SCF with turkishminute.com) May 5, 2017