Frankfurt – On Wednesday, Frankfurt police raided the European headquarters of the Turkish daily Sabah and arrested German representative İsmail Erel and news director Cemil Albay. Cell phones and computers were also seized in the raid. The homes of the two journalists were also reportedly searched.
According to Turkish media reports, there had also been arrests in other cities. However, this report could not yet be confirmed.
„We have been trying to gather information since this morning. Because it is an unbelievable situation. At 6 a.m., they raided the house of our German representative İsmail Erel and the house of Cemil Albay in Frankfurt. After the raid, our two representatives and reporters were arrested. They are still in custody without further explanation of the reason for their detention. We expect a statement from Germany in a few hours,“ a spokesman for the newspaper said.
According to Turkish media, the Turkish Foreign Ministry and professional associations there had already contacted the German authorities and lobbied for the release of the two journalists
Diplomatic sources reported that the detention of the two journalists was unacceptable in terms of press freedom and this had been communicated to the German authorities. High-level talks on the release of the journalists were still continuing.
Alman polisi, SABAH Gazetesi Almanya Temsilcisi İsmail Erel ve SABAH Avrupa Gazetesi Yazı İşleri Müdürü Cemil Albay, FETÖ’cü Cevheri Güven’in şikayeti üzerine tebligat dahi yapılmadan gözaltına alındı. Sabah Gazetesi Haber Koordinatörü Abdurrahman Şimşek detayları aktardı. pic.twitter.com/wwIdrde2yw
— Sabah (@sabah) May 17, 2023
According to current information, the arrest is related to Sabahs reporting on structures of the Gülen sect, or Fethullahist Terrorist Organization FETÖ as it is known in Turkey, in Germany.
According to unofficial information, it is an article by Sabah about Cevheri Güven and his whereabouts in Germany that is said to have provided the impetus for the police raid. Also the house in Babenhausen, in which he lives together with his family, were published on the front page of the sheet.
In Turkey, there is already talk of a second „SPIEGEL affair.“ In October 1962, editors of german magazine SPIEGEL were arrested; an attack on press freedom instigated by then Defense Minister Franz Josef Strauß.