Ankara considers German invitation to Can Dündar as ‘provocation’

Ankara considers German invitation to Can Dündar as ‘provocation’

Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
Ankara considers German invitation to Can Dündar as ‘provocation’ The German Justice Ministry’s invitation to an official reception to former Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dündar as a guest of honor is a “provocation” ahead of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s visit to Turkey, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Müftüoğlu has told reporters. 

“It has been conveyed to the German authorities that this step, which causes discomfort for us at a time where Chancellor Merkel is scheduled to visit our country on Feb. 2 and when bilateral relations with Germany have been normalizing, has to be evaluated as a provocation,” Müftüoğlu said on Jan. 26. 

“In contradiction with the positive atmosphere [in bilateral relations between Turkey and Germany], the invitation of a person who has jurisdictional proceedings against him on charges of acting against the national security of our country has been reported,” he added.

His comments came after German Justice Minister Heiko Mass invited Turkish journalist Can Dündar, who currently has a pending appeal case in Turkey and whose detention is demanded in two separate probes, to a reception in Berlin.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned the German charge d’affaires in Ankara to express its reaction over the Maas’ invitation of Dündar, Deutsche Welle (DW) reported on Jan. 24.

The ministry’s reception was due to take place on Jan. 25 in Berlin, and Dündar was also due to deliver a speech there about press freedom. DW reported that Turkish officials had stated that Turkish Ambassador to Germany Ali Kemal Aydın would not participate in the reception.  

Dündar has been living in Germany since June 2016 and faces detention warrants as part of two separate probes in Turkey. He was arrested in November 2015 on charges of espionage, helping a terrorist organization, trying to topple the government and revealing state secrets, after Cumhuriyet published reports on alleged covert arms deliveries by Turkey’s National Intelligence Agency (MİT) to Syrian rebel fighters.