President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has offered an exchange of prisoners between Turkey and Germany, in what Der Spiegel said like a plot in a mafia film.
Erdogan promised to release German citizens in Turkish prisons in exchange for the Turkish citizens in Germany whom the Turkish government deemed conspirators of the July 15, 2016 coup attempt.
Erdogan specifically offered to release detained Germans in Turkey such as journalist Deniz Yücel and demanded in return the extradition of several Turkish officers whom he accuses as a conspirator in the coup attempt in July 2016, the German magazine said on Dec 1. Among others, Mesale Tolu, a Turkish-German journalist and translator has been behind bars in Turkey since April, this year.
“The episode proves that Erdogan actually sees the Germans imprisoned in Turkey as a kind of pawn and is prepared to use their release to achieve his political goals.”
Der Spiegel said such a deal would be completely impossible under current laws in Germany.
Turkey survived a military coup attempt on July 15, 2016, after which the government launched a sweeping crackdown against all opposition circles, leading thousands of people to seek safety elsewhere in the world.
The number of Turkish citizens who fled Turkey following the failed coup and applied for asylum in Germany in October totaled 1,059, according to Deutsche Welle.