Deniz Yücel, a reporter for German newspaper Die Welt in Turkey, was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison by a Turkish court on Thursday for spreading propaganda for the terrorist group PKK. The court in Istanbul acquitted Yücel, a German-Turkish citizen, on charges of spreading propaganda for the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ) and inciting public hostilities and hatred.
Yücel was arrested on Feb. 14, 2017, for his connections to RedHack, a band of hackers known for their terror links, in addition to spreading propaganda on behalf of the PKK. Turkish officials said many times that Yücel's arrest had nothing to do with journalism and that his release would be subject to the same procedures applied to the terror suspects.
He was released in February 2018 and returned to Germany. The Constitutional Court had earlier ruled that his pre-trial detention was unlawful.
The prosecutor was seeking a sentence of up to 16 years in prison for Yücel for spreading PKK propaganda and inciting hate crimes. He was accused of portraying the terrorist group, which is responsible for thousands of atrocities in Turkey since the 1980s, as a legitimate, political entity.
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