German government continues to push for the release of Deniz Yücel

Turkey permits visit German government continues to push for the release of Deniz Yücel

Deniz Yücel, the German-Turkish journalist currently imprisoned in Turkey will be permitted to received another visit from the German Consul General in Istanbul on Thursday. "We welcome this," said Martin Schäfer, Federal Foreign Office spokesperson.

At the same time he reiterated his demand that Deniz Yücel be freed.

For the second time since his arrest, Deniz Yücel will receive a visit from the German Consul General in Istanbul. On Thursday Georg Birgelen will look at the conditions under which the journalist Deniz Yücel is being held, and possible further action in this case, announced Martin Schäfer, Federal Foreign Office spokesperson, at the government press conference. The only possible rule-of-law outcome, however, is the release of Deniz Yücel, he said, since there are no grounds on which he can be remanded in custody.

Other German citizens apart from Deniz Yücel are also currently being held in Turkish prisons. They include Mesale Tolu, who was detained at the end of April. In these cases too Germany continued to demand full consular access at all levels, said Martin Schäfer, Federal Foreign Office spokesperson.

Angela Merkel welcomed consular access

At the beginning of April, the German Consul General was able for the first time to visit Deniz Yücel and see for himself how he was. At that time, Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed the fact that Germany had been granted consular access to the journalist.

As deputy government spokesperson Ulrike Demmer added at the government press conference on 3 April, the German government expects Turkey to allow visits to detainees without delay in future.

Pushing for regular consular visits

The Chancellor thanked Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Sigmar Gabriel for his tireless efforts in this matter. "But we do naturally expect of the Turkish side that in future it will be possible to visit detained journalists where necessary, without delay," stressed Ulrike Demmer.

Deniz Yücel’s life in detention is not easy, said Sigmar Gabriel. "So it is all the more important that Deniz Yücel knows we will continue to do everything in our power to obtain his release." During his visit the German Consul General was able to assure Deniz Yücel of this personally. It is firstly important to ensure that regular consular visits can take place, in talks with Turkey, said Sigmar Gabriel.

On 27 February the German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel was remanded in custody by an Istanbul judge. The Turkish correspondent of the German daily newspaper "Die Welt" had already spent 13 days in police detention, after voluntarily handing himself over to the Turkish authorities in Istanbul. Initially he was denied access to all consular services.

Using every diplomatic channel

The German government has also repeatedly pointed to other German citizens kept in prison in Turkey, often on unclear charges. They too must be treated fairly and in line with the rule of law, and they must be given access to full consular services, federal government spokesperson Steffen Seibert has repeatedly underscored. Every case must be swiftly clarified. "People cannot be allowed to simply vanish into prisons, " said Steffen Seibert.