Turkish paper to Merkel: "Journalists are in prison. Don't you know?"

Turkish daily Cumhuriyet has sharply criticized the Ankara visit of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Written in German, Monday's front-page reads, "Journalists are in prison. Don't you know?" followed by the Turkish translation and a photo of Merkel.

The German leader, in Ankara for migration crisis talks, is only worried about migrants, the leftist-nationalist paper says, claiming she is meeting no one from non-government groups or the political opposition.

The chancellor is ignoring the basic values of the European Union, such as human rights, democracy, a free press and freedom of speech, added the paper.

Cumhuriyet chief editor Can Dundar and the paper's Istanbul correspondent Erdem Gul have been in police custody since November. The two are accused of supporting an armed terrorist group following the publication of a report on arms deliveries from Turkey to extremists in Syria.

Artists and intellectuals, including Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, publicly defended the paper after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan launched a lawsuit over the article.

Turkey has long been accused of allowing arms shipments to extremist groups in Syria, including Islamist factions, and allowing a flow of fighters over its border into the neighbouring country, fuelling conflict.

On Friday, a Turkish court accepted the case against the two, which will begin on March 25. The prosecution is demanding a life sentence.

Last update: Mon, 08/02/2016 - 13:50

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