Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avcı told German media that imprisoned journalist Deniz Yücel needs to prove his innocence if he wants to return to Germany.
“I would like to see that person [Yücel] prove his innocence. Yet, this is a judicial process. Just like there are judges in Berlin, there are judges in İstanbul and Ankara as well,” Avcı said during a visit to the International Berlin Tourism Fair on Thursday.
Yücel, who was detained in Turkey on Feb. 14 as part of an investigation for publishing stories on the leaked emails of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, was arrested by a court on Feb 27.
The prosecutor had accused Yücel of “disseminating the propaganda of a terrorist organization” and “inciting people to hatred and enmity.”
German press organizations on Feb. 19 called on Turkish authorities to release Yücel.
After a detention warrant was issued for Yücel, he turned himself in to police in İstanbul.
German Journalists Union (DJV) President Frank Überall, who spoke to the Evrensel daily, said Yücel should be released immediately.