Detained human rights activists’ meeting in Istanbul was extension of July 2016 coup attempt: Erdoğan
ISTANBULPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on July 8 that a meeting by human rights activists in Istanbul was held with the intent as the continuation of the last year’s failed coup attempt.
“They gathered for a meeting which was so to say the continuation of July 15. They were detained upon an intelligence,” Erdoğan told a news conference at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, adding that the judiciary will make the decision.
Police detained 10 human rights activists on July 5 during a meeting at a hotel in Istanbul’s Büyükada Island. İdil Eser, the Turkey head of Amnesty International, was among those detained in the meeting where they were organizing a “digital security and information management workshop,” according to Amnesty International.
Earlier, Amnesty International had called on the president to release the activists in a video shared on its Twitter account.
“President Erdoğan, remember 1998? We do. Back then Amnesty campaigned for your release when you were mayor of Istanbul defending your right to read this poem…” Amnesty said, captioning the poem.
“We have always fought against injustice in Turkey no matter the beliefs of the individuals or the government in power,” Amnesty campaigner Milena Buyum said in the video.
In 1999, Erdoğan served four months in prison as he was convicted of inciting committing a crime and inciting religious or racial hatred for reciting the poem, a conviction which also saw him banned from politics until his own Justice and Development Party (AKP) came to power in 2002.