German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel marries in jail
ISTANBULDeniz Yücel, a German-Turkish journalist for Die Welt newspaper who has been under arrest since February, has married his fiancée in jail, daily Cumhuriyet has reported.
Main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lawmaker Şafak Pavey and Yücel’s lawyer, Ferat Çağıl, also participated in the wedding ceremony between the journalist and Dilek Mayatürk in Silivri jail.
Mayatürk, who wore a white dress for the wedding, stated that the marriage in jail was unusual.
“When the door was opened and Deniz came into the room, I forgot why I was there for an instant. We brought along our cat to be a marriage witness, but it was not allowed into the jail. It waited outside,” she added.
Yücel’s friends posted a photo to congratulate the couple on social media, although there were no photos from the ceremony itself as photography is not permitted within the jail.
Turkish authorities arrested Yücel in February on charges that he engaged in propaganda in support of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and incited public violence. Yücel denies the charges.
In his four-hour long interrogation at an Istanbul court, Yücel said, “I love my country despite its faults and deficiencies.”
“I’ve never been a member of any [criminal] organization. The only organization I’m a member of is the German Journalists’ Union. I made comments based on basic human rights and freedoms in accordance with universal journalistic principles,” Yücel said in his testimony.
Yücel faces up to 10.5 years in jail if convicted.
Yücel’s arrest strained relations between Turkey and Germany, although tension grew even further after German authorities refused to permit rallies by Turkish ministers ahead of the April 16 referendum on constitutional amendments.