One of the Germans detained in Turkey ‘for political reasons’ released: Berlin
BERLIN - Agence France-PresseOne of two German nationals who had been detained in Turkey for “political reasons” has been released, Berlin stated on Sept. 4, amid rising tensions between the two NATO allies.
“The lawyer of one of the affected people told us that he has now been freed, without restrictions,” said a German Foreign Ministry spokesman, adding that the ministry was still seeking independent confirmation of the release.
The detention of the two individuals, whose identities have not been disclosed, was announced on Sept. 1 by Berlin with great consternation.
Foreign Ministry officials said the German nationals were detained for “political reasons”.
The detentions came at a time when ties were already at rock bottom between the two countries, which share longstanding historical links.
Ankara had been smarting over Germany’s criticism of its rights record following last year’s failed coup attempt.
The escalating tensions have split the Turkish community in Europe’s top economy, the largest Turkish diaspora abroad, which is a legacy of Germany’s “guest worker” programme of the 1960s and 70s.
On Sept. 3, Chancellor Angela Merkel signalled that she had run out of patience, saying she did not see Turkey ever joining the EU and that she “had never believed it would happen.”
She said she would discuss with EU counterparts whether to call off membership talks with Ankara, adding that Germany would also look at imposing economic restrictions on Turkey.