Turkish government has reportedly released another German prisoner from jail on Friday in what appears to be a growing desire in Ankara to jump-start its frosty relations with Germany, according to a report by Deutsche Welle (DW).
The release of the unnamed German was affirmed in a Germany’s foreign ministry statement, which said, we can “confirm the unconditional release of a German citizen who had been jailed for political reasons in Turkey.”
But Berlin called on Turkey to do more — in particular, it wants Ankara to release seven more German citizens being imprisoned “for political reasons,” according to German officials. All told Berlin claims there are a total of 50 Germans behind bars in Turkey.
Ties between the two countries became severely strained amid a failed coup in Turkey in 2016 and Ankara’s subsequent crackdown. Germany and other western countries have criticized Turkey’s response as excessive, with some 55,000 people put in jail and well over 150,000 public sector employees who have been stripped of their jobs.
Germany is home to a large Turkish diaspora and has pressed the European Union to cut funding linked to Turkey’s EU membership talks, which have virtually ground to a halt.
Turkish autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed hope for improved relations with Germany and the EU after a tumultuous 18 months. With an eye on warmer eyes, Turkey recently released German citizen David Britsch and German journalist Meşale Tolu.
But Deniz Yücel, a German-Turkish correspondent for Die Welt newspaper, remains in jail nearly a year after his arrest and with no date set for a trial.