Germany granted access to journalist imprisoned in Turkey

Germany has been granted consular access to a German-Turkish journalist arrested in Turkey for the second time since his arrest earlier this year, the Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said consular officials will visit Deniz Yucel, a reporter for German daily Die Welt, in an Istanbul-area prison on Thursday.

Yucel was one of many journalists swept up in the aftermath of last summer's failed coup in Turkey. He is accused of disseminating terrorist propaganda and inciting hatred, as well as being a German spy and associate of the outlawed PKK group.

Germany has dismissed the claims as absurd and has pushed for Yucel's release.

Schaefer said the government is "very happy" about Wednesday's news, saying it will give officials the opportunity to assess Yucel's wellbeing, the conditions he has been held in and to determine how to proceed next in the case.

Germany has said that a half dozen of its citizens are being held in Turkey, which has been one of several issues recently causing raised tensions between the two NATO allies.

Germany is also pushing for access to another journalist, Mesale Tolu, a 33-year-old German citizen with Turkish roots who has been in custody for more than two weeks. But Schaefer said that is still being denied.

Germany also considers Tolu's case a humanitarian one because she is the mother of 2-year-old, Schaefer said.

"We won't leave any stone unturned to make this happen," he said.