Thursday, 19 July 2018 11:57 GMT

Merkel demands Turkey release arrested German citizens

(MENAFN - AzerNews) By Ali Mustafayev

Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel has demanded the release ofGerman journalists arrested in Turkey.

The statement was made during the annual press conference held in Berlin.

'Our demands are perfectly clear: the arrested journalists must be released, said Merkel, noting that she would like to be in good relations with Turkey, but the 'reality must be taken into account.

The list of the arrested German citizens includes journalist Deniz Yucel, who is suspected in support of terrorist organizations and imprisoned under the charge of espionage on 15 February.

Another German journalist Meshale Tolu was arrested on the same charges on May 2017.

The relationship between Turkey and Germany continue to deteriorate since the failed coup in Turkey in July 2016.

Turkey accuses Berlin in granting of asylum to the key members of the failed coup and support to the FETO terrorists, particularly Adil Oksuz, a theology professor accused by the Turkish authorities of being an influential figure within the Fetullah Terrorist Organization.

Tensions have worsened over multiple issues including a referendum campaign to expand Turkish President's powers.German authorities banned some Turkish ministers from campaigning for ethnic Turk votes in Germany during the April referendum.

The relationsdeteriorated further after Ankara blocked a group of German lawmakers from visiting the servicemen at the Incirlik Air Base and further attempts of Germany to urge the EU to exert economic pressure on Turkey.

Despite further compromise made by the Turkish government regarding the German MPs' visit to military base in Konya headed bythe NATO Parliamentary Assembly and its Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller and European Union's refusal to reduce cooperation with Turkey, the relations between the two countries are being strained to date.


Merkel demands Turkey release arrested German citizens

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