Deniz Yucel , is an arrested journalist for Germany due to his profession-related activities on the other hand an “agentterrorist” for Turkey. Yucel , brought together what he experienced in a book, spoke to DW.
Yucel: My period showed me Erdoğan can do anything to be the government in power.
DW Turkish: The top of the state and senior officals used the term “agentterrorist” regarding to you. Your book is called “Agentterrorist” Why?
Deniz Yücel: Agentterrorist is a term Recep Tayyip Erdoğan found while he was mentioning me. And I thought now that he honoured me with this, it would be a dishonour not to use it. That is why I chose this term, which Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has the copyrights, as the title of my book.
There are plenty of questions about what you think about your court process and all the political evolvements. But let’s begin from the end…How come an “agentterrorist” is released tough all the charges?
It’s interesting, yes. I was arrested as an “agentterrorist” according to Sabah Newspaper nevertheless released as the Turkish reporter journalist Deniz Yucel according to Die Welt. Therefore when I was arrested, it was because current government in Turkey and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan himself hoped a benefit from it.
“Both conditions of my release and my arrest were unlawful.”
I was released due to a hope for a benefit likewise the reason I was arrested. My release was totally a political decision. I truly know that court received a directive “Release this man” So my conditions of release, I repeat once more, not only arresting me but also my condition of release were unlawful.
There is a serious defence industry trade between Germany and Turkey. In your book, you stress the same point that you stressed while you’re in jail. “Deniz Yücel and the word “tank” can not be used in the same sentence.” And there was also a trade mentioned about bartering Gulenists for you. Is this true?
“Government in power is a mafia system.”
Tayyip Erdoğan thought that; now that the man is so valuable, let’s not hand him out easily and take something in return. He carries the mind of a gangster. Government in power , as Ahmet Şık constantly expressing, is a mafia system already. God father is Erdoğan. As you previously said, there was a barter. They’ll first give us some generals and then we’ll hand Deniz out. In the end when Gerhard Schröder came to Turkey, he convinced Erdoğan that it is not possible. Later Erdoğan tried something else not to give the man totally free “Let’s buy guns at least.” Speaking and taking action like this is still gangster mentality. However according to all the accesible data and the information that I asked again and again German government’s various positions, there was no such a bargain.
“Turkey was never an easy field for journalists.”
If we come to the accusal… You waited a year and in the prepared accusal was containing the news you wrote. Among those there is an interview with one of the PKK rulers Cemil Bayık. The duty of a journalist is to make news and aim questions at everyone. Have you ever doubted yourself in those moments?
I never thought “I wish I didn’t do that.” “I wish I didn’t go to Kandil.” “I wish I wasn’t be one of the few foreign journalists that went to streets on July 15th.”. This is my profession. Turkey was never such an easy area for journalists. A period which freedom of thought and freedom of expression was totally effectual was never existed.
Did you foresee this period? Have you ever thought it could last this long?
In the custody in Vatan Street and later I encountered everyone in jail were saying that “they won’t take you into custody.” “They can’t” some were saying but they did. I was arrested. “They can’t hold you long.” they said. Honestly they did. Such a thing , there is already no example of it, nobody thought Turkey could take the risk.
“Place which awaits Erdoğan is Silivri 9th Prison.”
My period showed once more that there is nothing that Erdoğan can’t do to stay in the government in power. Because he knows very well that when he falls it is not relaxing in Marmaris or pension awaits him. The day he falls, Silivri 9th Prison , which I abandoned but lots of our friends were still in, is waiting for him. That’s why he won’t let power go.
Since 2015 you had a life a house and a cat. You had to get married in prison. Then the day of your release came but you had to leave Turkey at once. But they had to convince you to do that. Why?
“They could dictate Binali but not me!”
That time’s minister of foreign affairs Sigmal Gabrial said to my wife Dilek that “If I,to someone in jail rigt now in Turkey, say they’re releasing you immediately and the only condition is leaving the counry at once I am sending you a plane. Who would say no?”. Dilek said that “This is Deniz, he could refuse.” And I didn’t accept this offer. I thougt this is also an emotional matter.
I am going to be arrested when it serves the purpose and released when it is not and say nothing about it. I am not Binali Yıldırım. He could treat Binali Yıldırım and so, but not to me. There was also an unconscious psychological mood that lies behind such as; I was living in İstanbul for 2 years. My life, friends, my cat, my home, my job were in İstanbul. I was taken away from my job by force. I was pulled from my life. I want that life back.
You gave a place to the cruel treatments and torture not only in your defence but also in your book… You have made a criminal complaint but didn’t want to go public at that period. Every detail became an political matter about you. Were you trying to prevent this?
It had 2 reasons. First, as you said, we made a criminal complaint. There was a trial process ongoing. When I was released, this process wasn’t done. Therefore we didn’t interfere this process. Second reason is , I am calling this abusive treatment torture as it went systematically. It was formed to digest and to humiliate and went beyon limits everyday. First day nothing happened. They hit my chest and my back in the second. On the third day they hit me on my face. So you have no assurance how far they could go. You were left to their insanity. 6 guardians doing the torture secretly wasn’t possible. Jail management’s or Silivri 9th jail’s principal Ali Demirtaş’s not being informed about this matter wasn’t possible.
“Maybe, this was what they wanted.”
Huh, did he gave the order? I am not sure of that. Could a prison principal dare to say “I am going to bring him into line.” for a person whom president himself mentioned in his speechs. In Turkey, at that period. I don’t think so. This was made by a higher order and I think the goal was stir the reactions up as my arrest was already draw attention in Germany. Did they think that we’re not going to share this with the public? Not likely. Maybe, this was what they wanted. And the most important is that it’s place wasn’t belong to a message I wrote from jail or an interview. It belonged to courthouse. It meaned that I was tortured in front of the state that judging me , while I was that state’s highest, peak authority’s resposibility and maybe by his order…
“Agentterrorist” named book of Deniz Yücel is going to be published on 10th of October and his next hearing in on 17th of October. Deniz Yücel stands on trial with request of 4 to 18 years custodial sentence.
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