Ankara triggers German protest over journalists’ accreditation

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Turkey on Friday refused to renew the accreditation of two long-serving German journalists working in the country, triggering protests from Berlin which said the decision was “incomprehensible”.

Jorg Brase, Istanbul bureau chief for ZDF public television, and Thomas Seibert, who writes for the newspaper Tagesspiegel, have had their applications for press cards rejected by the Turkish government.

Senior German foreign ministry official Andreas Michaelis called Turkey’s ambassador to Germany to protest the decision and asked Ankara to reconsider, the ministry said.

“The decision is incomprehensible,” said ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr.

Relations between Berlin and Ankara plummeted after Turkish authorities arrested tens of thousands of people in a mass purge over the 2016 attempted coup against Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Some of those arrested were also German nationals.

A gradual rapprochement began in 2018 after German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel was freed following his arrest the year before.

Another journalist, Mesale Tolu, was allowed to return to Germany in August 2018. Both still face terror-related charges in Turkey.

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