Germany promised access to jailed journalist

Germany promised access to jailed journalist

Germany’s Foreign Ministry says Ankara has agreed to allow its envoys to see a German journalist detained for a month ago in Turkey.

Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said verbal approval had been given for a meeting with Mesale Tolu, a German citizen of Turkish descent. The 33-year-old’s case is one of many issues souring bilateral relations.

German diplomats have already been granted access to another German journalist being held in Turkey, Deniz Yucel, who has joint Turkish citizenship.

Numerous journalists have been incarcerated since the botched July 15 coup last year.

Tolu is being detained on charges of advancing “terrorist propaganda”, Berlin said. Turkey denied German Bundestag members permission to visit German service personnel serving at Incirlik Air Base in the anti-Islamic State coalition.

Thousands of people have been arrested in Turkey as part of a crackdown on alleged perpetrators of the coup against President Tayyip Recep Erdogan.

Germany will decide within two weeks whether to withdraw around 250 troops deployed at Incirlik (pictured), the Foreign Ministry said.

Germany has said it was considering moving its forces to Jordan or another West Asian country.

Turkey was angered that Germany is granting asylum to Turks accused of participating in the failed coup and that its ministers were refused permission to attend rallies of German-Turks ahead of last month’s referendum on granting Erdogan greater powers.

“We’re still holding talks with the Turkish side about Incirlik and we will work on a solution until mid-June,” said the German Foreign Ministry representative.

Turkish government representatives reportedly told Reuters that a visit by German MPs to Incirlik would not be appropriate.

Incirlik Air Base. Picture credit: Media Defence

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