Italian authorities and lawyer meet journalist Del Grande on hunger strike

Gabriele Del Grande

Ankara has allowed the Italian consul in Izmir, a lawyer and translator to meet detained journalist Gabriele Del Grande at the detention centre he has been held since 9 April in Mugla, southwestern Turkey.

Speaking to Kom News from Mugla, Istanbul-based journalist Alberto Tetta said that the consul of Izmir had been granted a visit after Italy put pressure on Ankara following a campaign on social media that demanded the immediate release of Del Grande.

“Gabriele Del Grande has been on hunger strike against his detention for 3 days, he is only drinking water. Minister of Foreign Affairs Angelino Alfano demanded that a doctor visit Del Grande, which eventually happened on Thursday, although Del Grande refused the vitamins suggested by the doctor,” Tetta said, adding that Del Grande, despite the situation, was in good health.

“Thanks to the pressure put on Italian institutions, diplomatic traffic has begun and Gabriele Del Grande has been able to finally see his lawyer,” Tetta said.

“Taner Kilic, a lawyer from Amnesty Turkey, asked for Del Grande’s dossier again today upon his visit but was refused by Turkish authorities. An official request has been issued but the authorities say that they can’t do anything without the approval of Ankara.

Gabriele Del Grande was detained on 9 April while carrying out research for a book near the Syrian border.