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Letter from arrested "Die Welt" journalist in Turkish prison

In his letter from prison, arrested Die Welt journalist Deniz Yücel has written that the conditions were better than in detention and that he still had to laugh about the reason for his arrest.

A man holds a poster with the slogan '#FREEDENIZ' during a protest in front of the Turkish embassy in Berlin, 28 February 2017
A man holds a poster with the slogan '#FREEDENIZ' during a protest in front of the Turkish embassy in Berlin, 28 February 2017

AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

This statement was originally published on bianet.org on 3 March 2017.

Die Welt daily's arrested journalist Deniz Yücel has written a letter from prison.

Writing the letter during a visit by his attorneys in prison, Yücel has thanked everyone who has been supporting him.

Yücel's letter published in the news website of Deutsche Welle reads as follows:

"Hello World,

After being kept in police detention for 13 days, I am in İstanbul-Metris Prison at the moment. It might sound strange but I feel like I have regained a tiny part of my freedom: Day light! Fresh air! Proper food! Tea and instant coffee! Cigarettes! Newspapers! A real bed! A toilet I can use only when I want. A kitchen or a yard -if I wished- to share with some political prisoners the whole day and a cell which belongs only to me in the evening. I will not be staying here for long but still it is nice here. Although it has deprived me of my freedom, the process of being interrogated and the reason for the (arrest) decision still make me laugh. I have to end my letter here. But I thank to friends, acquaintances, colleagues and all the people who put up a fight for me. Believe it, this does me good, very good indeed.

Sincerely,

Deniz


(According to Deutsche Welle's report, Deniz Yücel was transferred to Silivri Prison after writing this letter).

What had happened?

Diken news website editor Tunca Öğreten, DİHABER (Dicle News Agency) Diyarbakır Bureau Chief editor Ömer Çelik and correspondent Metin Yoksu, Yolculuk (Journey) newspaper Editor-in-Chief Eray Sargın, BirGün daily Executive Official Mahir Kanaat were taken into custody on December 24, 2016 in house raids.

A detention warrant was issued for Özgür Radio (Free Radio) Executive Coordinator and ETHA (Etkin News Agency) Executive Official Derya Okatan.

Of the above mentioned, Diken news site editor Öğreten, DİHA Diyarbakır News Director Çelik, and BirGün daily executive Kanaat were arrested for "being a member of an [illegal] organization after 24 days in detention.

DİHA correspondent Metin Yoksu, Yolculuk newspaper Editor-in-Chief Sargın and ETHA executive Okatan were released.

According to the pro-government Sabah daily's report on the house raids, Deniz Yücel was abroad at the time of the house raids which were conducted as a part of an investigation into the nine journalists.

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