In his interview with the German press agency (dpa), the former Editor-in-Chief of Cumhuriyet newspaper Can Dündar has stated that he will attend the joint press conference which will be held by Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel and President and Justice and Development Party (AKP) Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan during his state visit from September 27 to 29.
As reported by Deutsche Welle Türkçe, Dündar has stated that he would like to ask Erdoğan "why he says that there are terrorists in prisons in Turkey instead of saying that there are journalists." Dündar has added that he can easily prove that "they are not terrorists, but journalists."
"I will say my criticisms directly to his face"
Dündar has also stated, "I want to say my criticisms against Erdoğan directly to his face," and added that if he had been invited to the official dinner given by President of Germany Frank-Walter Steinmeier in honor of Erdoğan, he would attend it as well.
President of Germany Steinmeier will give an official dinner in honor of Erdoğan at the Presidential Palace on September 28.
While several members of parliament in Germany have announced that they will not attend the dinner, the Federal Press Office of Germany has confirmed the news that Chancellor Merkel and Minister of Foreign Affairs Heiko Maas will also not attend the dinner.
Erdoğan previously said, "I do not leave it at that"
After the article entitled "Here are the weapons Erdoğan claims to not exist" was published on Cumhuriyet newspaper, President Erdoğan addressed Can Dündar on a live broadcast on public channel TRT in May 2014 by saying, "I guess the person who made this special news will heavily pay for it, I do not leave it at that."
Six months after Erdoğan made this statement, Can Dündar and the Ankara Representative of Cumhuriyet Erdem Gül were arrested.
Their court case was over on May 16. Can Dündar was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison on charge of "disclosing confidential information of the state."
Dündar, who had been arrested for three months during his judicial process, was released from prison after the Constitutional Court ruled that his personal liberty and freedom of press and expression had been violated.
However, the Supreme Court of Appeals reversed this verdict and ruled that in Can Dündar's case, a judgement shall be made on the basis of the Turkish Penal Code Article No. 328, foreseeing a 15 to 20 years of prison sentence for Dündar on the charge of "obtaining confidential information for purposes of espionage."
Dündar has been living in Germany since 2016.
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