Turkish government releases another German citizen from prison

Turkish government has released another German citizen, David Britsch, who was jailed arbitrarily by Turkish authorities as the 55-year-old was on the way of a pilgrimage for peace in the Middle East.

According to a report by Deutsche Welle (DW) on Friday, David Britsch had planned to make a pilgrimage from his home in Schwerin, east of Hamburg, to Jerusalem, on foot and without money, with the aim of carrying out a mission for peace. He left in November of last year and was in eastern Turkey, near the Syrian border when he was arrested by in April. Instead of reaching Jerusalem, Britsch spent months in a deportation detention center in eastern Turkey.

Announcing his release, Germany’s Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said in Berlin on Thursday night that “It is good that Britsch is finally coming home to Germany.”

“Months of uncertainty and waiting in detention in Turkey are finally over. For me, his departure for Germany is another positive signal,” Gabriel said. “Following these latest decisions in Turkey, six people have been released from prison or been allowed to leave” the country.

“Decisions like this make us hope we can rebuild confidence and the bilateral relationship step by step,” Gabriel said, explaining why he had agreed to continue talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu.

DW reported that Britsch sent a message to his wife in Germany saying he was in İstanbul and could go on from there to travel home. “We are totally relieved and happy,” his brother told Die Welt newspaper.

He is the second German national to have been released from detention in Turkey this week. On Monday, Turkish-German journalist Meşale Tolu was released from prison but has not been allowed to return to Germany.

German sociologist Sharo Garip also hopes to be able to return home after two years being refused an exit permit. Seven other German citizens are still being held in Turkey for political reasons, including Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel.

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