President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan described the fugitive Can Dündar, who currently lives in Germany, as a "convict and a spy," during the joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Friday.
"This individual [Dündar] is convicted by Turkish courts for spying and disclosing state secrets," Erdoğan said, underlining that it was Turkey's natural right to seek his extradition from German authorities in line with an extradition agreement with Germany. Erdoğan said Dündar has been convicted to five years and 10 months in prison in Turkey.
In May 2016, the 14th High Criminal Court in Istanbul convicted Dündar, the former editor-in-chief of daily Cumhuriyet, and its Ankara Bureau Chief Erdem Gül after the newspaper ran a report about a raid on trucks belonging to Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MİT), reportedly carrying arms to Syria.
Apparently, the 2014 raid was carried out by the judiciary and military infiltrators of the Gülenist Terror Group (FETÖ).
The two were charged with espionage and aiding a terrorist group and were arrested late November 2015. They were held in prison until Feb. 26, 2016, when Turkey's Constitutional Court ruled that their rights had been violated and ordered their release.
In May 2016, the 14th High Criminal Court in Istanbul sentenced Gül to five years and Dündar to five years and 10 months in prison.
However, Turkey's Supreme Court of Appeals overturned both convictions in March, saying that Gül should be acquitted over the lack of evidence, but Dündar to be given a stiffer sentence of up to 20 years in prison.