Turkey releases German journalist after year in jail

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Yucel was jailed in February a year ago on suspicion of spreading propaganda in support of a terrorist organisation and inciting violence.

"And I still don't know why I was released", Yucel, who works for the newspaper Die Welt, continued.

Ties between Ankara and Berlin have been strained since the defeated coup in Turkey in 2016, as Turkish politicians heavily criticized their German counterparts for failing to show strong solidarity with Turkish government against the attempted military takeover.

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After a year of imprisonment, German journalist Denis Yucel's lawyer announced on Friday: "there is a decision to free my client".

"My arrest had nothing to do with justice or the rule of law and nor does my release", Yucel said.

Germany's foreign minister later told reporters that Yucel was on his way to an Istanbul airport and can "freely leave Turkey". He denied the accusation.

Yucel's case has become the focus of particular attention for Germany.

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News of Yucel's release came as a Turkish court on Friday jailed three prominent journalists for life on charges of links to the group blamed for the 2016 failed coup, state media said.

"I can assure you that there were no agreements, trade-offs or. deals made in connection with this", he said in Berlin.

"Some of the issues causing some problems in Germany-Turkey relations in the past period seem to be resolved today", he said.

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