German president thanks Turkey for helping release two journalists from Iran

08:45, February 23, 2011      

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German President Christian Wulff has sent a letter to Turkish President Abdullah Gul to thank him for his help in the release of two German journalists from Iran, local media reported Tuesday.

"You have extended a great help to Germany by saving two German journalists. I am ready to help Turkey if you need help one day. I am grateful to you for your help and friendship," the semi- official Anatolia news agency quoted Wulff as saying in the letter.

Gul talked with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad during his visit to Iran earlier this month on the release of Marcus Hellwig and Jens Koch, who were detained for alleged illegal journalistic activities.

The two journalists had been held in detention in Iran for four months before being released last week.

In October, Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hosein Mohseni- Ejei said Iran had arrested two foreigners who interviewed the son of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani who has been on death row since 2006.

Mohseni-Ejei said it was found out later that the two foreigners who interviewed Ashtiani's son were not journalists, or did not carry any document to prove they were journalists.

Ashtiani's case become internationally known in 2010 after high profile reports that she was convicted of extramarital affairs and sentenced to death by stoning.

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