Turkish court sentences Germany-based journalist to jail on terrorism charges

ISTANBUL — A Turkish court on Thursday sentenced German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel in absentia to jail for 2 years and 9 months for terrorism propaganda, state-owned Anadolu agency said, in a case that has strained ties between Ankara and Berlin.

Yucel, who denies the charges against him, returned to Berlin in February 2018 when he was released from custody after being kept in jail for a year without indictment.

He was accused of spreading propaganda in support of both Fethullah Gulen, the U.S.-based cleric accused by Ankara of plotting the 2016 failed coup, and also of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency in southeast Turkey since the 1980s.

He was also charged with inciting public enmity.

Yucel’s arrest led to protracted row between Turkey and Germany, two NATO allies. Shortly after his arrest, Berlin banned Turkish ministers from speaking to rallies of expatriate Turks, while President Tayyip Erdogan called Yucel a terrorist agent and Ankara accused Germany of supporting Gulen’s network. (Reporting by Ali Kucukgocmen Editing by Ece Toksabay and Dominic Evans)

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