Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Germany has become obsessed with journalist Deniz Yücel, jailed in Turkey since Feb. 14, underlining that he rebuffed German Chancellor Angela Merkel when she mentioned Yücel during their meeting in Brussels on Thursday, Hurriyet reported on Saturday.
“They are obsessed with Deniz [Yücel]. I reminded them [Chancellor Merkel] that ‘You have many Denizes, I gave you a list’,” Erdoğan said when asked whether the Yücel issue was on the table with Merkel.
In April, Erdoğan said the extradition of Turkish-German journalist Yücel to Germany will never take place as long as he is president.
Erdoğan has accused Yücel of being a German agent and a representative of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) on many occasions.
Yücel, who was detained in Turkey on Feb. 14 as part of an investigation for publishing stories on the leaked emails of President Erdoğan’s son-in-law and Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, was arrested by a court on Feb. 27 and sent to Silivri Prison in İstanbul.
Erdoğan also said he expressed his uneasiness over Germany’s treatment of PKK and Gülen movement members.
“We have strongly expressed our reaction to German acceptance of the asylum applications of coup plotter soldiers. We have asked ‘How could you do that?'” said Erdoğan, while talking about the details of his meeting with Merkel.
Stressing that he was not satisfied with Merkel’s answer that asylum is an issue of law, Erdoğan said, “In fact, this issue, its process, to a large extent, is under the authority of the interior or justice ministries or the government.”