Two German journalists left on Sunday after the denial of their accreditation in Turkey. The ZDF correspondent Joerg Brase and the “daily mirror”Reporter Thomas Seibert flew in the afternoon back to Germany.

The case put a severe strain on the years of crisis, most recently, but improved relations between Germany and Turkey. In the German government’s bewilderment was circles noticeable.

Two – and not constantly living in Turkey NDR Reporter was informed in the press-service in Ankara about a week ago, that her application had not been granted to a new press card. Reasons the officials not called. The journalists ‘ Association, reporters without borders appreciated the decision as a “sacking”.

Both reporters criticized in the ZDF-Studio in Istanbul prior to their departure, the approach of the Turkish government. “It is an attempt by foreign media to intimidate and put pressure on them,” said Brase. You will, however, not impress. The ZDF will take action against the decision of the court. He and Seibert want to continue on the Turkey report, if necessary, from outside.

Seibert said: “The attempt of the Federal government to remain with the Turkey in the conversation and to move on this difficult topic, behind closed doors, one temperate line, can now be viewed as a failure.” The “escalation in dealing with the German media” have not reached a point where the Federal government could, as a sharper.

Week of increasingly high-level diplomats and politicians had used behind the Scenes for the German correspondents in Turkey, of which many are waiting for their new press cards. A day of the departure of Brase and Seibert, the German government drew the consequences and tightened the travel advice for Turkey. This is likely to hit the country has been stuck for months in a monetary and economic crisis, and for 2019 with many of the tourists from Germany is expecting, hard.

It could not be excluded “that the Turkish government is taking further action against representatives of German media, as well as civil society institutions”, – stated on the website of the Federal foreign office (AA). In addition, the AA refers to threats by the Turkish government from the beginning of March: those Who have participated in the international meetings of organisations that would be classified as a “terrorist”, and in Turkey, holiday wool that could be taken at the time of entry.

The AA also warns, “not to be forwarded public comments in social media about anonymous denunciation to the Turkish law enforcement authorities”. Turkey after the coup attempt of 2016 more sharply against alleged terror suspects, but also government critics. So were detained after Turkish information by Sunday, a total of more than half a Million followers of the Gülen movement, which is made for the coup attempt. More than 30 000 are still under Arrest.

The topic of freedom of the press is between Germany and Turkey at a nerve point, after starting in 2017, among other things, the “world”Reporter Deniz Yücel and the Translator, and journalist Mesale Tolu imprisoned for months and months recorded. The ratio had improved to the release and departure of Yücel, Tolu, as well as other German. 2018 several German Minister visited Turkey and President Erdogan traveled for a state visit to Germany. The word of the “normalization” made the rounds.

This process is likely to have suffered a setback. In a conversation with the “daily mirror on Sunday,” said foreign Minister Heiko Maas: “If journalists are prevented from working, is with our understanding of the freedom of the press is not compatible.” Without a critical press there is no democracy.

Meanwhile, around a dozen German as well as many international journalists wait for a press card. After the sharp reactions to the denial of accreditation for Brase, Steffen Seibert and the NDR-Reporter Halil Gülbeyaz, the press service announced in Ankara several correspondents in the last week, orally, that its accreditation had been approved. Were not shipped the cards but so far. At least four German journalists, including the correspondent of “mirror”magazine – have yet to even get a verbal commitment.

The press card is not only valid as a work permit, but also as a prerequisite for the issuance of a residence permit. Without the map, a number of German correspondents threatening in only a few weeks out of the country.

Both Brase, as well as Seibert said, the Turkish Embassy in Berlin have offered their editors-in-Chief to send other journalists, whose applications would then be “tested”. It would not have taken their homes. Seibert was accredited for 22 years continuously in Turkey. Brase in January of 2018, head of the ZDF Correspondent in Istanbul.

The chief of reporters without borders (RWB), Christian Mihr, said on Sunday: “With the arbitrary accreditation withdrawal of German correspondents the Turkish government continues its campaign against the media diversity.” After the coup attempt of 2016 Erdogan had numerous media houses in Turkey by a decree to close. Many Turkish journalists are in prison. In the ranking of the press freedom of reporters without borders, Turkey ranks 157 out of 180.