Turkey permits prison visit

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German woman in Turkish prison Turkey permits prison visit

For weeks the German government has been pushing: now Turkey has granted consular access to Mesale Tolu. A consular representative will be permitted to visit the German citizen, currently in prison in Turkey.

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The Turkish government conveyed this information by telephone, reported Martin Schäfer, spokesperson of the Federal Foreign Office on Monday.

The Federal Foreign Office assumes that an initial visit can take place on 2 June. Consular representatives wish to gain a first hand impression of the condition of the prisoner and conditions in Turkish prisons, said Martin Schäfer, spokesperson of the Federal Foreign Office. No written authorisation of the visit has yet been received.

German government pushes for visit

Federal government spokesperson Steffen Seibert has repeatedly declared that Germany is basically interested in good relations with Turkey. The German government does, however, expect to be permitted to provide consular services without delay. The German government has been pushing for consular access to the German citizen Mesale Tolu for weeks. She was remanded in custody in Turkey on 6 May.

It is important for the German government that it is able to provide support for German citizens detained and imprisoned abroad. Mesale Tolu has only German citizenship, and does not hold Turkish citizenship. She is thus entitled to consular services under the provisions of the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Germany was not informed by the Turkish authorities that Mesale Tolu had been imprisoned. The German government considers this a violation of the Vienna Convention.

Angela Merkel calls for release

On the margins of the NATO meeting on Thursday (25 May), Chancellor Angela Merkel met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. They discussed the current strains on German-Turkish relations.

During their meeting, Angela Merkel reiterated her call for rule-of-law treatment for detained German citizens. In particular she called for the release of Deniz Yücel. The German-Turkish journalist was remanded in custody in Istanbul at the end of February. He is accused of terrorist propaganda and sedition. Other German citizens are also being held in Turkish prisons in addition to Mesale Tolu and Deniz Yücel.