Deniz Yücel free but too early to celebrate

The German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel has been released after a year in prison and left Turkey on Friday. After a holiday he plans to resume his work. For commentators, however, the joy at his release is not undiluted.

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T24 (TR) /

This has nothing to do with the rule of law

Deniz Yücel's liberation is not a victory for the rule of law, T24 sighs:

“There's no need to go on repeating the words of Minister Sigmar Gabriel. One sentence is enough: 'The fact that Deniz Yücel has regained his freedom is a victory for diplomacy.' [To paraphrase Gabriel's remarks after Yücel's release]. So in fact the whole thing has nothing whatsoever to do with law and the like. If this release is taught at the law faculties Gabriel's words should also be framed and hung on the walls. In the name of Turkey's present constitutional state and legal system.”

Bild (DE) /

Too early to rejoice

The daily paper Bild stresses that Turkey still doesn't have a free press:

“On the contrary. Deniz Yücel was released on Friday - but six other journalists were sentenced to prison, some of them for life, in the same breath. 150 are still behind bars. No. As much as we may rejoice about the freedom of our colleague Deniz Yücel, this can't conceal the open wounds in Turkey: the way it has turned its back on the West, on our values. We have got back our colleague - but there is still a long way to go before the Turkish leadership becomes a democratic friend or reliable partner once more.”