The first hearing of the compensation case pursued by Deniz Yücel, the Turkish correspondent of German newspaper Die Welt, against the Turkish government will be held at 10:45am at İstanbul 17. High Criminal Court on 25 September, Tuesday.
Yücel spent almost 1 year in pre-trial detention on charges of distributing terrorist propaganda and inciting the public to hatred and animosity. He was released from pre-trial detention on February 16. His lawyer, the Co-Director of the Media and Law Studies Association Veysel Ok, filed a lawsuit against the Turkish government on his behalf claiming nearly 3 million Turkish Lira (TL) in compensation – 1 million TL for the violation of Yücel’s liberty and 250,000 TL for the loss of possible income while detained, plus Yücel’s court expenses.
Ok explained that “Deniz Yücel was detained in Silivri Prison for almost one year, 10 months of which in solitary confinement. He was detained due to his writings and reporting, his arrest was unlawful and unjust. Deniz was targeted by pro-government journalists and the government itself during his detention. Yes, he is now free, however, there should be a cost for what he has gone through. We chose to file this suit as a way of settling accounts and proving that proceeding against him were indeed unlawful.”
Ok went on to note that Deniz Yücel’s ordeal is not quantifiable in financial terms. “You cannot arrest a globally famous journalist in his most productive years, keep him in solitary confinement and act as nothing happened.”
Yücel left the country after his release from pre-trial detention. He still faces criminal charges. His first case hearing was held in June and his request for acquittal was rejected. His next hearing will be held at İstanbul 32. High Criminal Court on 20 December. He faces up to 18 years imprisonment.
Updated: December 3 2018