ISTANUBL (Reuters) — A German reporter detained in Turkey for more than a year was released from jail pending trial, even as six other journalists and newspaper employees were sentenced Friday to life imprisonment by a Turkish court.
Deniz Yucel, a correspondent for the German daily Die Welt, was detained as part of a Turkish government clampdown on civil society in the wake of a failed coup attempt in 2016.
The 44-year-old, who has both German and Turkish citizenship, was arrested in Istanbul on Feb. 14, 2017, on terrorism and propaganda charges that he denies. His case and that of five other German citizens still held in Turkey for what Germany considers political reasons badly soured relations between the two countries.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed his release Friday, saying she was happy for Yucel and his family “who had to endure a very difficult year of separation.”
A picture tweeted by lawyer Veysal Ok showed Yucel outside jail embracing his wife.
Germany’s foreign minister later told reporters that Yucel was on his way to an Istanbul airport and can “freely leave Turkey.”