German officials visit jailed reporter in Turkey, demand release

Reuters News
Posted: Apr 04, 2017 6:21 AM

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A German-Turkish journalist whose arrest in Turkey has jolted relations between Ankara and Berlin is doing well in prison but Germany is pushing for his release, German Deputy Foreign Minister Michael Roth said after consular officials visited him.

Turkish authorities arrested Deniz Yucel, who holds both German and Turkish citizenship, in February on charges of propaganda in support of a terrorist organization and inciting public violence. Yucel denies the charges.

Roth spoke to reporters after talking to a lawyer from the German consulate who had visited Yucel in prison in Istanbul on Tuesday.

"Mr Yucel is, given the circumstances, doing well. What remains a burden for him is the solitary confinement," said Roth, who thanked Turkish authorities for the opportunity for consular officials to meet Yucel after they had denied access for weeks.

"But this can't be the end for us," Roth added. "We are still pushing for the release of Deniz Yucel."

Yucel faces up to 10-1/2 years in jail if convicted.

Relations between Turkey and Germany have been further strained following bans on planned rallies by Turkish ministers in Germany to drum up support for Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan.

(Writing by Paul Carrel; Editing by Stephen Powell)