Dual citizenship is a problem

Dual citizenship is a problem

Journalist and cameraman Christian Feiland with Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dundar © Frame34

Journalist Christian Feiland has lived and worked in Turkey for 20 years. Especially journalists with German-Turkish passport are in danger. He also sees a failure of the C parties in the Yucel case.

Interviewer: Reporters Without Borders sees in the Yucel case "a new quality of persecution". You also?

Christian Feiland (TV Journalist and Producer): Yes, I personally firmly expected that he would be released from prison and that the proceedings against him would continue at large. It was a big surprise that he was sent to custody, considering that he is a German journalist. On the other hand, he also has a Turkish passport and is not German for the Turks, but only Turkish: In view of this, the decision of the court is not surprising.

our siteWhat makes the difference?

The only thing that has to be criticized is that an editorial office sends someone to Turkey who has dual citizenship. I have had the chance to get a Turkish passport for some time now. But I deliberately did not take Turkish citizenship and prefer to torture myself through the bureaucracy for a work permit because I do not want dual citizenship. Because then I am only a Turk here and then no German government can help me anymore.

our site: Was it naive of him to voluntarily surrender himself to the Turkish justice system?

Feiland: He had no other choice. It is a sign of cooperation to voluntarily go to the police and make a statement. That the Turkish authorities then still ame that there is a risk of flight, that was so unforeseeable, we are all surprised.

our siteYou know Deniz Yucel. He seems to be a very courageous journalist ..

FeilandYes, he is a brave man. He has appeared on the radar of the Turkish media more than once before. In the headlines he has been described as a traitor to the fatherland before. So he was known and always continued to do hisJob. To what extent it is courageous or not to continue to do one's job correctly is something that everyone must decide for themselves. But he has done his job correctly, his texts have been journalistically completely correct.

Interviewer: You've been working as a journalist for 20 years. How dangerous is it for you in Turkey to practice this profession correctly, as you say?

Feiland: I don't work for Turkish media anymore, so I don't have any problems in that respect. But especially since the coup attempt it has become worse and worse for foreign media; also for me. There is a lot of hounding, saying that the Germans or international media procrastinate all this, just want to make Turkey bad; you hear and feel this more and more. When we walk around on the street with a camera and have wind protection from German broadcasters, we always hear people around us whispering: "Are those German spies?? Are they agents??"One of them even went for my throat and called me a liar. This is very unpleasant.

our site: They continue anyway, as did Deniz Yucel. Do you see a chance that he will be released?

Feiland: Not only Deniz Yucel is in prison, but also many Turkish journalists. As bad as the Yucel case is, one must not forget all the Turkish journalists who are really brave: They don't have a German government supporting them in the background, they don't have a financially strong editorial team standing behind them. Of the more than 150 Turkish journalists, many have also been released – like Can Dundar, probably the best-known case in Germany. He also sat in prison for about three months and then was released while the trial was going on. This hope will also exist for Deniz Yucel.

Interviewer: How do you see the role of the German government?

Feiland: I am so disappointed. I think Germany's basic values were betrayed when Chancellor Merkel sat on Erdogan's golden throne ten days before the elections and negotiated this refugee deal. And there was already the big problem with press freedom and human rights in Turkey. Then I was pissed off. The main thing is to save one's own skin, the rest doesn't matter. Just close your eyes and get through it. No matter what happens to the people, no matter what sad state the human rights and press freedom situation is in: The main thing is that the refugees do not come. In this respect, I believe that the government is now finally getting prere from the public. I think the government's behavior in the matter is very embarrassing. I feel betrayed and so does the Turkish opposition here. I wonder about the CDU – where are the C's values??

The interview was conducted by Birgitt Schippers

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