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13:55, 25 April 2018 Wednesday
Update: 21:53, 22 December 2017 Friday

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Germany hopes to improve relations with Turkey
Germany hopes to improve relations with Turkey

Berlin welcomes release of German citizen David Britsch, arrested near Syrian border

World Bulletin / News Desk

Germany on Friday welcomed the release of a German citizen who was arrested in Turkey last April for attempting to cross into Syria.

The 55-year-old David Britsch, who claimed that he wanted to make a pilgrimage from his hometown of Schwerin to Jerusalem on foot, and therefore planned to cross into Syria, was deported from Turkey on Thursday.

“This is another positive signal,” Maria Adebahr, German Foreign Ministry deputy spokeswoman, told a news conference in Berlin.

The legal cases against German citizens have been widely covered by the German media, putting pressure on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government as opposition parties fiercely accused her of not doing enough for their citizens detained in Turkey. 

In response to calls by German politicians for the release of these suspects, the Turkish government said it was ruling out exercising any political influence on the judiciary and urged them to wait for court decisions.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, who recently had several meetings and phone calls with his Turkish counterpart, welcomed the release of Britsch, and expressed hope for improving ties between Berlin and Ankara.

“I have agreed with my Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu to continue our talks,” he said in a statement.

Ties between Ankara and Berlin have been strained since the defeated coup in Turkey last year as Turkish politicians criticized their German counterparts for failing to show strong solidarity with the government against the attempted military takeover.

Ankara also criticized Berlin for turning a blind eye to outlawed groups and terrorist organizations like the FETO, the PKK, DHKP-C and MLKP, which continue to use Germany as a platform for their fund-raising, recruitment and propaganda activities.

 


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