Turkish journalist Adil Yiğit, who protested during a press conference with Turkey’s president and the German chancellor last month, has been told he will have to leave Germany, according to a report by Deutsche Welle (DW).
The 60-year-old Yiğit told German media he had received notice on Friday that his residence permit had not been extended and that he must leave Germany by Jan. 22 or face deportation. He said he has been in Germany for 36 years.
Yiğit, who writes for the German newspaper TAZ and runs the Turkish website Avrupa Postası, is a vocal critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
During a press conference with Erdoğan and Merkel in Berlin last month, he wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Freedom for journalists in Turkey” before he was taken out of the room by security. Erdoğan laughed as he was escorted out.
“The two things have to be related, there’s no other possible explanation,” Yiğit told German news agency DPA.
The reason for the deportation provided by migration authorities in the northern city of Hamburg was that Yiğit is unemployed and is no longer living with his children, according to documents seen by DPA.
Yiğit said he would meet with his lawyer.
President Erdoğan has repeatedly demanded that Germany extradite dissidents, something that Berlin has so far refrained from doing.
It is unclear whether Germany would actually carry out a deportation to a country where tens of thousands of people have been arrested on flimsy charges in the wake of a controversial coup attempt in 2016. Germany has taken in and supported dozens of Turkish journalists who are under threat in Turkey.
Frank Schwabe, a Social Democrat Party (SDP) lawmaker and the party’s spokesman for human rights, said on Twitter that there was no way Yiğit would be deported.
“‘Expulsion’ or whatever. Of course, Adil Yiğit will not be deported to a land where he could be threatened with torture or arbitrary arrest. It would be good if that is clarified quickly,” Schwabe wrote.