Turkey arrests another German citizen for criticizing Turkish government

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Turkish police have arrested another German citizen, a German foreign ministry source said on Thursday, and public broadcaster ARD said the man had been accused of “terrorist propaganda” after criticizing the Turkish government on social media, Reuters reported.

The arrest comes after German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas urged Ankara on Monday to do more to improve its troubled diplomatic ties with both Germany and the United States, which would also help to ease its current economic woes.

“We’re aware of the case. The embassy in Ankara will initiate consular assistance,” the foreign ministry source said.

A German foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday there were currently seven other German citizens arrested in Turkey on political grounds. Turkey has also arrested several US citizens in recent months.

In the latest case, public broadcaster ARD reported that Turkish police arrested 46-year-old İlhami A. on Tuesday morning while he was visiting his mother in her hometown of Sarıbaşak in a largely Kurdish region of eastern Turkey.

A judge in the provincial capital of Elazığ issued an arrest warrant for İlhami A., who has Kurdish roots and works as a taxi driver in the northern German city of Hamburg, ARD reported. He has lived in Germany since 1992, it said.

His Turkish lawyer, Ercan Yıldırım, told ARD his client had been accused of “terrorist propaganda” because he had criticized the Turkish government on social media.

Yıldırım told ARD his client had been taken to a prison in Elazığ and that he would file a complaint against the arrest on Thursday.

The Turkish prosecutor’s office in Elazığ was not available for comment, ARD reported.

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