German ambassador summoned over detention of pro-government journalists
German Ambassador in Ankara was summoned by Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday, following the arrest of two representatives from the pro-government Sabah newspaper in Frankfurt, Germany.
The detention of journalists Ismail Erel and Cemil Albay during a police raid on Sabah's Frankfurt office sparked diplomatic tensions between the two countries.
The journalists of the newspaper Sabah have been arrested, which is intended to "intimidate and harass" the Turkish press, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said. The German authorities initially did not confirm that the two journalists had been arrested, but their private homes were searched.
Sabah said the office of the newspaper in Frankfurt was also searched and computers and phones were seized.
While there is currently insufficient information regarding the official reason for the raid, it was stated that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has intervened for the release of Erel and Albay.
Speaking about the incident on A Haber, Orhan Sali, the Coordinator of Anews Broadcasting, stated, "Since morning, we have been trying to gather information because an unbelievable situation has occurred. Our German representative, Ismail Erel, conducted a raid on Cemil Albay's house in Frankfurt at 6 am. Following the raid, both of our representatives, as well as our reporter, were detained. They are still under custody. A detailed explanation has not yet been given regarding the reason for their detention. We are expecting a statement from Germany within a few hours."
Sabah is the most important mouthpiece of the government in Turkish media, heavily subsidized by a pool of businessmen close to President Tayyip Erdogan,
In Germany and Europe, the newspaper is particularly noticeable with aggressive denunciation campaigns against critical media workers in exile.
In September, journalist Cevheri Guven, who is accused of being a member of Gulen movement, found himself on the front page.
"Propaganda imam continues to shoot lies and hate videos in Germany, where he fled to," was written next to a secretly taken photo that showed Guven with a shopping bag in his hand.
The house in Babenhausen where Guven lives with his family was also photographed on the front page of the newspaper. In the accompanying article, the newspaper described the journalist as a “terrorist”, among other things. Sabah announced, it had located the "provocateur" and his "nest of defamation".