AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
BRUSSELS (AP) — The Latest on relations between the European Union and Turkey (all times local):
Germany’s Foreign Ministry says a diplomat has been able to meet with a German-Turkish journalist imprisoned in the Istanbul area but there’s still no information about a second German journalist in custody in Turkey.
Spokesman Martin Schaefer said Consul General Georg Birgelein met for 80 minutes with Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yucel on Thursday for an unsupervised conversation.
Yucel was taken into custody earlier this year on charges of producing terrorist propaganda and incitement to hatred – accusations that he denies. Germany has called for his release.
Several dozen journalists have been incarcerated since last year’s failed coup attempt in Turkey.
Schaefer said Friday that Germany has been given no information about another journalist, Mesale Tolu, a 33-year-old German with Turkish roots who’s been in custody for more than two weeks.
European Union top officials will meet with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan next Thursday in Brussels to discuss the unraveling relations between both sides.
The EU announced Friday that Council President Donald Tusk and Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker will host the Erdogan for a bilateral meeting ahead of the NATO summit later in the day.
Even though the EU and Turkey have an agreement that has stemmed the flow of people fleeing war and poverty coming into the European heartland, relations have worsened in the wake of last year’s failed coup attempt in Turkey.
Erdogan has insulted EU nations like Germany and the Netherlands by comparing them with Nazis and has hinted that he is seeking to bring back the death penalty, which would doom Turkey’s EU membership aspirations.