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Turkey court orders release of second German national: reports

The arrest of the two was announced by Berlin with great consternation [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 September, 2017

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A Turkish court has ordered the release of a second German national arrested last week for "political reasons" as tensions escalated between the two allies.

A Turkish court on Thursday ordered the release of a second German national arrested last week for "political reasons," local media reported, as tensions escalated between the two allies in the run-up to the German election.

The identities of the two individuals have not been disclosed, but Turkish media reported they were a couple holidaying in the southern Mediterranean resort of Antalya.

The arrest of the two was announced on Sept 1 by Berlin with great consternation, with the foreign ministry saying they were detained for "political reasons".

The first national was freed Monday.

The Dogan news agency reported that the second German national - identified only as K.A. - was released Thursday, with the court placing them under an overseas travel ban.

It said the two people had been arrested as part of an investigation into a group led by US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen - who is accused by Ankara of ordering the July 15, 2016 failed coup.

The arrests have further strained bilateral ties between the two NATO allies, which deteriorated after Berlin sharply criticised Ankara over the crackdown that followed the putsch.

Comments made Sunday by German Chancellor Angela Merkel did not improve matters.

Merkel said it was "clear that Turkey should not become a member of the European Union" and that she "had never believed that it would happen".

Merkel's strong words prompted a swift rebuke from Ankara, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman Monday accusing German politicians of pandering to populism.

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