Jan 05 2018

Germany ties arms exports to release of journalist Yücel - report

The German government is tying the resumption of arms exports to Turkey to the release from jail of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel, Deutschlandfunk reported, citing German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel.

Gabriel was speaking ahead of meetings with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Çavuşoğlu in Gabriel’s hometown of Goslar on Saturday. Yücel has been in jail for 10 months without any formal charges against him.

On Friday, Çavuşoğlu called for a reset in Turkish-German relations in an article for Germany’s Funke newspaper group.

Çavuşoğlu said Germany should develop a more “empathetic” tone in its dealings with Turkey. He said its leadership did not seem to fully grasp the “trauma” caused by a failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in 2016.

Gabriel had said last month that Turkey’s decision to release a sixth German citizen from jail gave hope that relations could improve. Berlin has been heavily critical of Turkey’s record on human rights following the July 2016 coup attempt.