After Erdogan’s Olive Branch, Turkey Releases Another Jailed German

After the Turkish president’s overture to rebuild better ties with Germany and EU, the Turkish authorities have released another German citizen from prison.

German Foreign Ministry said it could “confirm the unconditional release of a German citizen who had been jailed for political reasons in Turkey,” without offering detail about the identity of the citizen.

Turkey’s relations with Germany see signs of a thaw after the release of a number of German citizens. But the German authorities say still seven have been held for “political reasons” out of a total of 50 Germans behind bars in Turkey.

Berlin-Ankara ties have been badly strained, especially since Turkey’s 2016 failed coup and subsequent crackdown, which Germany and other western nations have criticized as excessive.

Germany, home to a large Turkish minority, has since urged a cut in EU funding linked to Turkey’s membership talks, which have ground to a virtual standstill.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in an interview published Thursday, expressed hope for a better relationship with Germany and the EU after a fractious 2017.

His comments followed Turkey’s recent release from months of detention of German pilgrim David Britsch and German journalist Mesale Tolu.

However the German-Turkish correspondent of Die Welt newspaper, Deniz Yucel, who was arrested in February, remains behind bars, and no date for his trial has been set.

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