German police raided the office of the Turkish language daily Sabah, employees of the newspaper told Anadolu, APA reports.
Senior journalists Ismail Erel and Cemil Albay were arrested by the police, and searches were carried out at their homes in the city of Frankfurt, sources said.
Fatih Zingal, a lawyer representing the newspaper, said according to initial information, the two journalists were arrested upon a complaint by the followers of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO).
“German authorities could have invited journalists and directed their questions about this complaint. Instead of this, they arrested them and seized their mobile phones and laptops,” he said.
Zingal stressed that Erel and Albay are professional journalists, and their arrest simply for their journalist work is completely unacceptable.
The arrests triggered protests from local journalist associations, while the Turkish Foreign Ministry contacted German authorities and demanded the immediate release of the journalists, Anadolu learned.
Raiding a newspaper office, forcibly searching a newsroom, and arresting journalists is an unacceptable act and a severe violation of press freedom, diplomatic sources said.
The Turkish language daily Sabah has widely covered the activities of FETO, which orchestrated a defeated coup attempt in Türkiye on July 15, 2016, and received numerous threats from the group.
The German government’s tolerance towards the group and its reluctance to extradite key FETO suspects to Türkiye, including ex-generals, bureaucrats or prosecutors involved in the 2016 coup plot, has been a major source of tension between Berlin and Ankara in recent years.