Germany approved arms deals for release of journalist - German media

Berlin made an arms deal with Turkey to secure the release of journalist Deniz Yücel, behind bars in Turkey for 11 months without a charge, German media reported this week. Yücel, a dual Germany -Turkish national, had been detained on allegations of espionage and terrorism. 

Referring to the German government's answer to a parliamentary question submitted by Sevim Dağdelen, a member of the Left Party (die Linkspartei), the German government said that they approved 31 agreements for the export of weapons to Turkey between Dec. 18, 2017  and Jan. 24, 2018, Reuters reported. 

The German Ministry of Commerce and Energy, in its answer to the parliamentary question, did not detail the types and models of arms allowed, using only weapons codes. The response said that approval was requested by Turkey, but did not respond to another question about a modernisation deal for Leopard tanks, currently deployed in Turkey's invasion of Afrin.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in January that the decision on the deal to modernise Turkish Leopard tanks would be put on hold until a new government came to power.

Before being released on February 16th, Die Welt reporter Deniz Yücel said, "I don't want my freedom to be tainted with an arms deal," which at the time was denied by the German Foreign Minister. Gabriel, before Yücel's release, maintained that Germany did not negotiate "any dirty deals with Turkey." 

Yesterday another detained German citizen was freed, reducing the number of German nationals in Turkish prisons to four.