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Turkish media fail to get seats at neo-Nazi trial
The courtroom in question. Photo: DPA

Turkish media fail to get seats at neo-Nazi trial

Published: 26 Mar 2013 08:23 GMT+01:00
Updated: 26 Mar 2013 08:23 GMT+01:00

A row has flared up in Germany after it emerged that no Turkish media had seats at the trial of a neo-Nazi accused of ten racist murders - including those of eight Turkish people.

The 50 media seats at Munich's Higher Regional Court for the trial of far-right terrorist Beate Zschäpe were assigned according to a first come, first served principle - but this left the foreign media out in the cold.

Head of the German Journalists' Union Michael Konken has called for an exception to be made. "We would make a huge fuss if this were to happen the other way around - if no German journalist were allowed in the courtroom in a foreign case," he told Tuesday's Münchener Merkur newspaper.

He said not only Turkish but also Greek media should be allowed in - one of those killed by the National Socialist Underground (NSU) neo-Nazi gang was Greek.

He was echoed by Barbara John, the government's ombudswoman for the relatives of those murdered by the NSU - all shot in the head at close range, at seemingly random places across the country between 2000 and 2007.

"The trial will not only be closely followed in Turkey," she told the Mitteldeutsche Zeitung newspaper. She said many immigrants in Germany read Turkish newspapers or follow the news via Turkish television. "Thus it is not only to be desired, it is important that they have access," she said.

Aktham Suliman, who worked for Arabic broadcaster Al Jazeera for years, told the paper that foreign media often lagged behind their domestic colleagues in registration matters as they usually had only a small staff, and thus no-one specifically in charge of such things.

Early this month, the NSU trial threatened to spark a diplomatic incident after the court refused to guarantee space for the Turkish ambassador.

Proceedings are due to start on April 17th, when Zschäpe will face judges. Prosecutors are currently working on the assumption that she is the last surviving member of the three-member gang. She gave herself up a few days after the others died following a botched bank robbery. Uwe Mundlos killed Uwe Böhnhardt and then himself in a camper van surrounded by police in November 2011.

The lengthy chain of police and security service errors and cover-ups connected to the case reflected dreadfully on Germany and left leaders embarrassed at the seeming lack of importance ascribed to the deaths of the victims.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

12:38 March 26, 2013 by TheWonderer
It may sound strange and I know it will foster a lot folk's prejudices, but the permits were given out on a "first come, first served"-basis.

Had the Turkish media really had been interested it that case, they would have inquired in time.

Besides, this is not a show trial, but a fair process.

Therefore, we have to make sure that all relatives have access and that "the public" has access - both is the case here.

Furthermore, the media w/o access can cooperate with journalists in there and share - just like it is don ein other cases.

So claiming discrimination of Turkish media is a bit over the top.

TheWonderer
14:52 March 27, 2013 by cemil
So, neo-nazis are looking after a neo-nazi case? Strange...
21:42 March 28, 2013 by mikeiskov
This is Global embarrassment for Germany, I hope BBC, CNN and other news agencies picks up the story.

remember, what's done to jews in the past is happening to Turks now and Greeks and the others are next on the line. this is where all the immigrants in Germany regardless of ther backround should come together and fight this evil.

Germany and France created the Eurozone so they can dictate and control Europe, before euro spain, ireland, greece, cyprus, italy were all doing fine.

They also steal brightest from other poorer Eurozone countries, not even a penny paid for their education and health care, use them as cheap laborer to service their low needs and try to hate and dump them when there is no need. This is what you call as a modern slavery.

I hope Turkey will never join to EU as they will face the same outcome as Greece …etc…etc. Eurozone will be in their knees in few years to Beg to Turks to join so they can expand towards east.

By not allowing Turkish journalist in to their courtroom is the sign of German¦#39;s neo-nazi past and present,

Imagine if 10 Germans burnt to death in Turkey by hate group and Turkish court did not allow any German journalist in to the courtroom, imagine the reaction in germany…..I hope you get it
07:31 March 31, 2013 by gt0520b
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
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