Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Friday condemned the arrest of Turkish journalists in Germany last week, calling it a "violation of press freedom."
Leading journalists for the Turkish newspaper Sabah Ismail Erel and Cemil Albay were arrested in the early hours of May 17 after dozens of police officers raided their homes in Frankfurt, Germany. Their phones, laptops and electronic storage devices were also seized by the police, Anadolu reports.
"We find it unacceptable that German security forces arrested Turkish journalists with the complaint of a fugitive FETÖ (Fetullah Terrorist Organization) member. What was done in Germany is a violation of the freedom of the press," Erdogan told Turkish broadcaster A Haber.
"The plight of those who criticize Turkey on the freedom of the press is embarrassing. No journalist in my country has been blocked for doing their job. Many of the journalists they call imprisoned are in prison for smuggling weapons or possession of marijuana or heroin," added Erdogan.