Turkey summons German ambassador over police search of journalists

The Turkish government has summoned the German ambassador after police in western Germany searched the private apartments of two journalists who work for the Turkish newspaper Sabah.

A statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said the move was to protest “the unfounded arrest of representatives of the Frankfurt office of the Sabah newspaper by the German police.’’

German officials, however, told dpa that no one had been arrested.

But the local public prosecutor’s office confirmed to dpa that police searched the private apartments of a 46-year-old and a 51-year-old journalist in the town of Mörfelden-Walldorf in Hesse .

Police said the search was part of an investigation into the suspected “dangerous dissemination of personal data’’ in violation of German law.

Storage media and other evidence were secured during the operation.

The investigators declined to provide any further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

The Turkish ministry claimed that the journalists had fallen victim to an unfounded complaint filed by a member of the Gülen movement.

Turkey views blames the group for the July 2016 attempted coup and lists it as a terrorist organisation.

The movement’s leader, Fethullah Gülen, lives in self-imposed exile in the United States.

The ministry also said the timing of the search which took place days after presidential elections in Turkey indicated that it was a deliberate act.

In Turkey’s presidential elections on Sunday, incumbent Recep Tayyip Erdoğan narrowly missed out on a majority and has to face the runner-up, opposition leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, in a run-off election on May 28.


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