German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel spoke in the newsroom for Die Welt on Friday in Berlin following the release of their journalist Deniz Yucel.
The German-Turkish journalist was imprisoned in Turkey for over a year without conviction before being released earlier on Friday.
Speaking of the Turkish government's role in Yucel's imprisonment, Gabriel stated, "They [the Turkish Government] have always insisted that it's an independent decision of a judge," however, he went on to explain, "They had confirmed to us that they would speed up the proceedings. This commitment to speeding up the case has been adhered to, on the the Turkish side; for this, I'm very thankful."
Gabriel held the press conference alongside Chair of Axel Springer media Mathias Doepfner and Die Welt Editor in Chief Ulf Poschardt.
When commenting on Yucel’s release, Poschardt pointed out that there are still scores of journalists in custody in Turkey. He said, "Deniz is free, but, in Turkey, 150 other journalists still sit in prison. We have colleagues worldwide who are not able to write things as they are, who aren't free to express their opinion."