Facing 15 years in prison, German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel faces court

The trial of Deniz Yucel, a German-Turkish journalist, will continue today in Istanbul. Accused of spreading pro-Gulen and Kurdistan People’s

deniz yucel trial

Photo: Getty/AFP/Akgul

The trial of Deniz Yucel, a German-Turkish journalist, will continue today in Istanbul.

Accused of spreading pro-Gulen and Kurdistan People’s Party propaganda, Yucel is facing terrorism charges that could land him a 15-year prison sentence.

This would not be Yucel’s first run in with Turkish law enforcement. The journalist spent a year in prison between 2017 and 2018 on dubious charges of “espionage” that were later rulled illegal by Turkey’s Constitutional Court. His recent arrest has drawn condemnation from the German government and Reporters Without Borders.

Though historically strong due to the three million Turks currently residing in Germany, Yucel’s arrest will likely strain relations between the two states. Ankara’s 2017 imprisonment of a dozen German citizens resulted in Chancellor Angela Merkel’s pushing to restrict trade and arms exports to fellow NATO member Turkey.

If Yucel’s trial results in his long-term imprisonment, Germany could once again call for trade restrictions. With the Turkish economy already reeling from the aftermath of a currency crisis and the outbreak of COVID-19, Ankara simply cannot afford to lose any access to its biggest export destination, Germany.

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