I hope German journalist Deniz Yücel will be released soon: Turkish PM

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Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım raised the prospect on Feb. 14 that a German-Turkish journalist could soon be freed from a Turkish jail.

 “I hope that he will be freed soon. I think that there will be a development soon,” Yıldırım told German broadcaster ARD in an interview.

He added, however, it was not up to him, but a court of law.

“At least he will appear before a court and every hearing is a chance to be freed,” Yıldırım said, according to extracts of the interview. He is expected to discuss the case with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Feb. 15.

Deniz Yücel, a reporter for German daily Die Welt, was jailed a year ago on allegedly spreading propaganda in support of a terrorist organization and inciting violence.

He denied the accusations and no indictment has been made.

Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel has called for the release of Yücel, who completes one year in a Turkish prison on Feb. 14.

Gabriel said late Feb. 13 that Germany is urging a fast and legal judicial procedure which “from our point of view can only have the target of releasing Deniz Yücel.”

Ties between Turkey and Germany have strained in recent years, as Turkish politicians blasted their German counterparts for not taking serious measures against outlawed groups and organizations Turkey deems terrorist, such as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The detention of around a dozen German citizens in Turkey, including a reporter, a translator, and a human rights activist, has also been a source of friction between Ankara and Berlin.

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