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German citizen on trial in Turkey on political charges - media
September 7, 2017 / 10:08 PM / 2 months ago

German citizen on trial in Turkey on political charges - media

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A 49-year-old woman has become the first German citizen to stand trial in Turkey on allegations of supporting U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Turkish authorities blame for a failed military coup last year, German media reported.

Broadcasters WDR and NDR and daily newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung said the trial began in the southern Turkish city of Karaman on Thursday and cited the indictment as saying the woman faced several years in prison.

They said the woman, whom they did not name, was born in Turkey but had lived in southwest Germany for more than 20 years and had been a German citizen for 15.

She had been arrested in Turkey in August 2016 and released in September after pressure from Germany’s foreign ministry but was not allowed to leave the country, they said.

Earlier on Thursday, the ministry confirmed that another German citizen detained in southern Turkey last week had been released but banned from travel.

Turkey’s Dogan news agency said the man and his German partner had been detained while on holiday in Antalya. The partner had already been freed after questioning.

Dogan said the couple had also been held as part of investigations into Gulen and Kurdish militants in Syria. Gulen has denied any link to the failed coup.

Thursday’s release means 10 German citizens remain in Turkish detention on political charges.

The arrests have raised tensions between Ankara and Berlin and led Chancellor Angela Merkel to call for a review of relations and of Turkey’s EU accession talks.

The detainees include dual German-Turkish citizen Deniz Yucel, who has been held for more than 200 days.

Reporting by Maria Sheahan; editing by Andrew Roche

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