German pilgrim arrested in Turkey released

A German Christian arrested in Turkey in April 2017 while trying to carry out a pilgrimage to Jerusalem on foot has been released after five months in jail, leftist newspaper BirGün said.

The release of David Britsch, who was stopped by authorities while trying to cross into Syria, would “help resolve tensions in relations,” it quoted German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel as saying.

The release also reduced the number of German citizens in pre-trial detention in Turkey to seven, Kurdish political movement news agency ANF said, saying that they were being held as “political hostages”.

Germany has been threatening sanctions on Turkey since the arrest of rights activist Peter Steudtner, ANF said, but so far the only ones placed on Turkey had been “for show”.