Germany summons Turkish envoy over human rights activist

Germany Turkey

Germany Turkey

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on Thursday harshly condemned a Turkish court's decision Tuesday to jail Steudtner and the other activists, including Amnesty International's Turkey director and a Swedish IT trainer, who were detained in a July 5 police raid on a hotel, where they were attending a digital security workshop. "We need to be clearer than we have been until now so those responsible in Ankara understand that such policies are not without consequences".

Earlier in the day, Turkey's Foreign Ministry criticized recent statements by German government spokesperson regarding the arrests, saying that interference in Turkish judiciary is unacceptable.

Turkish-German relations have taken a nose dive since the high point of a migrant deal, reached in March 2016, between the European Union and Ankara.

Turkey's refusal to grant access to German lawmakers came after Berlin blocked visits and speeches by senior Turkish officials to members of Turkish diaspora in Germany ahead of an April referendum in Turkey.

Steudtner's arrest added to a growing list of issues that have weighed on German-Turkish relations for over a year, but particularly since the coup attempt in Turkey a year ago.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman has branded as "unfortunate" comments by the German foreign minister, including those telling Germans to exercise caution in Turkey.

"The situation in Turkey is not transparent and we should call a spade a spade", he said. So far this year, bookings from Germany have accounted for about 10 percent of Turkey's tourists. It added that the relations between the two countries should be conducted based on global norms and principles not by blackmail and threats, urging Germany to understand Turkey's expectations in the fight against terror and security and evaluate the common interests with a strategic vision.

The deal has helped to sharply reduce the number of arrivals and has been especially welcomed by Germany, the preferred destination for the migrants, and Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Army launches operation in tribal areas targeting ISIS
To a question, he said the Army Chief will take a final decision on the appeal of Indian spy Kulbhushan Jhadav at the earliest. Any coordinated operations with Afghanistan will be meant for actions by both the countries on their respective territories.

This comes following an escalating diplomatic dispute between Germany and Turkey after Turkey arrested six human rights activists including German national Peter Steudtner.

The foreign office's travel warning states that Turkey had breached its worldwide commitments by denying consular access to German citizens on pre-trial arrest.

"We believe these statements are a domestic investment in the approaching German elections".

Mehtap Yoruk used to teach in a nursery school in south-east Turkey, until she was sacked previous year in a purge of tens of thousands of state employees.

At the time of being arrested, he was a reported for Die Welt, a German newspaper. Turkey accuses Gülen of masterminding the coup attempt, a charge he denies.

The list includes industry giants Daimler and BASF.

Council of Europe's Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland said Thursday he told Turkey's Binali Yildirim that "human rights defenders should be able to fulfil their activities freely without being subject to arbitrary interferences by the authorities". Only China, at $25.4 billion, exported more to Turkey.

Schaefer also mentioned the ongoing detention of German reporter Mesale Tolu, who has been in Turkish custody since April.

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