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Prosecutor appeals decision to acquit Deniz Yücel of ‘inciting the public to hatred’

İstanbul – The prosecutor appealed local court’s decision to acquit journalist Deniz Yücel of “inciting the public to hatred and animosity.” Arguing that the journalist’s acquittal is “against the procedure and law,” the prosecutor requests an appeal and presents the expression “genocide towards Armenians” as evidence for this crime.

Journalist Deniz Yücel’s two-year long trial came to an end on July 16, 2020. İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court acquitted Yücel of “inciting the public to hatred and animosity”, while sentencing him to 2 years, 9 months and 22 days in prison for “making terrorist propaganda” charges.

The court also decided to file a criminal lawsuit against Yücel on charges of “insulting the President” and “degrading the Turkish State, its judicial organs and law enforcement agency” based on two articles Yücel penned for Die Welt in 2016.

Writing ‘Armenian genocide’ incites public to hatred and animosity, claims prosecutor

In the appeal presented to the court on the day the verdict was announced, the prosecution based their request of Yücel’s punishment on the journalist’s two articles published in October 2016 in Die Welt newspaper.

Yücel had remarked the following anecdotal joke in his article from 26.10.2016, which was considered to be evidence for the charge “inciting the public to hatred and animosity”: “One of the most common jokes among Kurds that describes the attitude of the Turkish State towards themselves goes like this: A Turk and a Kurd both receive death sentences. They ask the Kurd what their final wish is. The Kurd thinks for a short while and says: I love my mother so much, I would like to see her one last time before I die. Then, the Turk is asked the same question to which they respond without hesitation: I would like the Kurd to die without seeing their mother…”

The prosecutor also remarked that the expression “genocide towards Armenians” from Yücel’s article dated 27.10.2016 and argued that these statements were “inciting one fraction of the people towards hatred and animosity against another.”

Court already filed complaint for ‘degrading the Turkish state’ 

Whereas the İstanbul 32nd High Criminal Court had acquitted Yücel of this charge, the court had decided to file a lawsuit against him based on these same two articles, on the infamous charge regulated under Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) which is: “degrading the Turkish State, its judicial organs and law enforcement agency.”