A new lawsuit was filed against Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel on charges of “insulting the President,” and was merged with a previous lawsuit accusing him of “degrading the state.”
Drafted by the Press Bureau of the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office, the indictment requests his punishment for “insulting the President” based on a November 9, 2016-article that included a photo of President Erdoğan with the title “putschist” on top of it.
The indictment claims that the article involves a photo of President Erdoğan with the title “putschist” on top of it and states that Erdoğan was restructuring the state, protests were being stifled and that the country was falling apart. It also claims that the expression “putschist” is “clearly offensive against the honor, dignity and respectability” of Erdoğan.
The case was merged with a previous lawsuit filed against Yücel for “degrading the Turkish nation and State of the Turkish Republic” based on his two other articles published in October 2016, one of which included an anecdotal story with the punchline “don’t let the Kurd see their mother before they die,” and the other the phrase “genocide committed against Armenians.” The decision to merge the case files was justified on the grounds that they had “personal, factual and legal connections.”
The trial will begin on July 1, 2021 at İstanbul 2nd Criminal Court of First Instance.
On July 16, 2020, Yücel was acquitted of “inciting the public to hatred and hostility” while being sentenced to 2 years and 9 months in prison for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization.”
Alongside the verdict, the Istanbul 32nd High Criminal Court had ruled to file additional lawsuits against journalist Deniz Yücel for “insulting the President” [Art. 299 of the Turkish Penal Code] and “publicly degrading the Turkish Nation, State of the Turkish Republic, the Government of the Republic of Turkey and the judicial bodies” [Art. 301 of the Turkish Penal Code] charges based on three separate articles he penned for Die Welt in late 2016.
An article that included an anecdotal story with the punchline “don’t let the Kurd see their mother before they die” and another including the phrase “genocide committed against Armenians” were considered to be sufficient to file a criminal complaint pursuant to Article 301, which turned into a lawsuit was in April.