A few days ago, German authorities searched the homes of two Turkish journalists living near Frankfurt, which led to critical statements from Turkey. For its part, the German Foreign Ministry rejected these criticisms and summoned the Turkish ambassador in Berlin.
The German Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday that the government had summoned the Turkish ambassador to Berlin after criticism of the German judiciary following the recent searches conducted at the homes of Turkish journalists.
“The Turkish ambassador, who was summoned today, has been informed that the federal government strongly rejects the Turkish government’s accusations regarding freedom of expression, the press and the judiciary in Germany,” the German ministry wrote in a tweet.
This summons, which came five days before the second round of the presidential elections in Turkey, came after a similar decision taken by the Turkish authorities on May 17 when they summoned the German ambassador after searches conducted in Frankfurt at the homes of the correspondents of the pro-government Turkish newspaper Sabah.
‘Intimidation and harassment’
The Turkish Foreign Ministry especially condemned what it said was “the unjustified arrest of representatives of the Frankfurt office of the Sabah newspaper,” and considered it “an act aimed at intimidating and harassing the Turkish press.”
For its part, the German Public Prosecutor’s Office in Darmstadt, south of Frankfurt, confirmed that the two journalists were not subject to arrest, and that what happened was the search of their homes and the seizure of “electronic storage media and other elements of evidence.”
Sabah newspaper said that they were arrested following a complaint filed against them by supporters of the preacher Fethullah Gulen, who has been living in the United States for a long time and accuses Ankara of inciting the coup attempt in 2016.
“The arrest of the two Turkish journalists because of their articles on the FETÖ terrorist organization (the name used by Ankara for the Gulen movement) is a clear violation of press freedom,” Fahrettin Altun, director of communications in the Turkish presidency, wrote on Twitter.