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Dec 4, 6:44 AM EST

Turkey ends solitary confinement of German journalist


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BERLIN (AP) -- The German government is welcoming a Turkish decision to end the solitary confinement of a German newspaper correspondent detained for months and accused of espionage. But it's underlining its demand that he and others, held on what Berlin considers political grounds, be released.

Government spokesman Steffen Seibert said Monday the improvement in Deniz Yucel's detention conditions is "a small step." But he added: "it doesn't change the German government's demand that German citizens jailed on incomprehensible grounds in Turkey be released."

Yucel, a German-Turkish journalist for the daily Die Welt, was arrested Feb. 14. Turkish authorities accuse him of disseminating terrorist propaganda and inciting hatred, as well as espionage. Yucel denies the allegations.

He's one of nine Germans the Foreign Ministry says are being held in Turkey over "political accusations."

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