German journalist arrested in Turkey!
There has been a massive outrage across Europe over the arrest of the German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel in Turkey. Yucel is a correspondent for Die Welt. He has been accused of being a German spy and a member of the banned Kurdish rebel group, PKK.
Yücel was arrested and charged with spreading anti-Turkey propaganda and incitement to violence. Yucel sent the following message to his supporters around the world from the prison cell where he has been locked:
“Hello World. After being kept in police detention for 13 days … it might sound strange but I feel like I have regained a tiny part of my freedom: daylight! Fresh air! Proper food! Tea and instant coffee! Cigarettes! Newspapers! A real bed! A toilet I can use when I want … Although it has deprived me of my freedom, the process of being interrogated and the reason for the (arrest) decision still make me laugh … I thank friends, acquaintances, colleagues and all the people who put up a fight for me. Believe it, this does me good, very good indeed.”
The arrest of the journalist over what many say are trumped up charged has spoiled the relations between Turkey and Germany. President Tayyip Erdoğan has accused Germany of protecting the journalist and said that it reflected Germany’s anti-Turkey mentality.
Erdogan has been accused to being an authoritarian and as an aspiring dictator. He has taken wide ranging powers in Turkey after the failed military coup against him. Now he is conducting a national referendum in order to get the public’s approval over granting more powers to himself. His administration has been accused of several human rights violations in recent months against their political opponents. Over 150 Turkish journalists who were critical of Erdogan, have been arrested.
The situation turned very serious recently as Turkey’s justice minister, Bekir Bozdağ, was not allowed to hold a rally in Germany, in a town that has many people of Turkish origin. Germany has a Turkish diaspora of 1.5 million.
Bozdağ was critical of Germany in his speech, saying, “Let them look back at their history. We see the old illnesses flaring up.”
“Germany today has become a shelter for all those who commit crimes against Turkey, the PKK, Feto, DHKP-C members. Those who carried out the coup and everyone who commits crimes against Turkey have fled there,” he added.
Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlüt Çavuşogğlu, has said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel hated Turkey and wanted to “prevent Turkey from becoming strong”. He has also summoned Germany’s ambassador Martin Erdmann and asked for an explanation the recent decisions taken by Germany that the Turkish government considers to be hostile to their interests.
The German government is under a lot of pressure to stand up to Erdogan, who many consider to be a dictator. There is a feeling that Germany is worried that Erdogan would drive over a million refugees who are currently in refugee shelters in Turkey, into Germany. These are serious times indeed.
Author: Raghav Hegde – India
source photo: telegraph