President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel held a joint press conference after their meeting today (September 28).
Adil Yiğit, the Editor-in-Chief of the Avrupa Postası (Post of Europe) news website, who attended the press conference wearing a shirt "Freedom to journalists" written on it, was forced out of the conference hall by police officers after he wanted to take photographs.
Merkel and Erdoğan, who answered the questions of journalists after their statements, also responded to questions of journalists regarding the citizens of Germany who have been arrested in Turkey and the former Editor-in-Chief of Cumhuriyet newspaper, Can Dündar, who lives in Germany.
Dündar, who previously announced that he would attend the press conference and ask a question to Erdoğan, made a statement later on and said that he would not attend the conference "considering that Erdoğan could cancel the press conference by using him as an excuse in order to avoid the questions of other journalists."
Erdoğan has been in Germany since yesterday (September 27) as part of his first state visit to the country as the President of Turkey.
Erdoğan: Can Dündar is an agent
Answering the questions of the journalists about the arrested citizens of Germany in Turkey, Erdoğan said, "The Turkish judiciary has released the ones, whom it is supposed to release. I will not give a specific name."
Erdoğan made the following statement about Dündar:
"I suppose you know that Can Dündar is an agent, a person who has disclosed the confidential information of the state and has been sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison. This person came to Germany. This person is a convict according to the Turkish judiciary. He is an agent. He has disclosed the confidential information of the state."
"Judiciaries are independent"
In response to a question regarding Enver Altaylı, a 74-year-old citizen of Germany who has been arrested in Turkey, Erdoğan said,
"You have the right to criticize the Turkish judicial system. Judiciaries are independent. We have to respect it."
Merkel: We discussed the economic cooperation
Speaking before the question and answer session of the press conference, Chancellor Angela Merkel stated that Turkey-Germany relations have been marked by radical controversies such as "the issues of state of law and press freedom" in the last years.
Merkel also said, "We want a stable Turkey, a Turkey, whose economy grows; we discussed the economic cooperation in our meeting." (TP/SD)
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