Justice minister slams Germany for ‘harbouring’ Turkish journalist Can Dundar

Turkey's Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag slammed Germany for harbouring journalist Can Dundar

Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag on Saturday criticised Germany for taking in well-known journalist Can Dundar.

Answering journalists’ questions during a visit to the Central Anatolian city of Yozgat, Bozdag commented on German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s recent visit to Turkey to meet both the Prime Minister and the President.

The minister claimed the German government was turning a blind eye towards the activities of groups classified as terrorist organisations in Turkey, and slammed German courts’ rejection of the extradition of soldiers Ankara alleges were part of the coup attempt. Bozdag also specifically mentioned exiled journalist Can Dundar saying:

“What good has Can Dundar done for Turkey or humanity so that the Chancellor decides to host him in Germany under the protection of their justice minister? If anything, he has actually been put on trial and convicted in Turkey.”

Can Dundar responded to the justice minister’s rhetorical question, “What good has Can Dundar done for humanity?” on Twitter saying: “I exposed you”, referring to the story that led to a five year, 10 month prison sentence for ″leaking state secrets,″ after his newspaper Cumhuriyet published footage of Turkey’s intelligence agency MIT sending weapons to jihadist groups in Syria.

More than 160 media outlets have been closed down and 144 journalists jailed since the coup attempt in July 2016 according to the Journalists Union of Turkey.