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German Greens co-chair: Erdoğan is a hostage-taker, not a president

Co-leader of the German Green Party Cem Özdemir / AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ

Leading German politician Greens Co-chair Cem Özdemir said on Friday that Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is not a head of state, but rather a hostage-taker, following the most recent detentions of two more German nationals in Turkey.

Özdemir, who is the son of a Turkish family that immigrated to Germany, told the Bild daily that Erdoğan has been ruining the honor of his position and that nobody can claim to be safe in Turkey these days.

Meanwhile, a Kurdish news agency reported on Saturday that an alleged Turkish spy named Mehmet Fatih Sayan reportedly told German authorities following his asylum request that Turkey’s spy agency asked him to hire Kurdish men to beat Özdemir.

Sayan had been detained in December 2016 by German police for plans to assassinate Kurdish critical individuals abroad. According to the Der Spiegel magazine it was stated in an indictment in Germany said that Sayan had received 30,000 euros for his spying activities from Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT)

Back in March, Özdemir had commented on the spying activities of Turkey’s MİTY targeting Turkish citizens in Germany, saying Turkish informants who believe President Erdoğan is so wonderful can go live in Turkey.

“People who have problems with basic rights are not forced to live here. Those who think Erdoğan is so wonderful, they can go live in Turkey. I don’t mean that people who support Erdoğan can’t live in Germany. But informing on those who don’t think the same, trying to oppress and frighten them, is not acceptable,” Özdemir had said.

According to Deutsche Welle, the German consulate in Izmir has been informed of the arrest of the two Germans, the Foreign Ministry said on Friday. The airport police in Antalya later confirmed that the arrests had taken place the day before. The ministry’s spokesperson Maria Adebahr told reporters that “we have to assume the arrests could be politically motivated.” Currently 55 Germans, at least four of them with dual citizenship, are in Turkish prisons, tweeted DW’s Christoph Strack.

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