Turkish foreign ministry says Germany comments on rights activists' arrests unacceptable
ANKARA - ReutersComments by German officials regarding Turkey’s arrest of six human rights activists, including a German citizen, were unacceptable and amounted to interference in the judiciary, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on July 20.
Germany raised the possibility on July 19 of suspending European Union aid payments to Turkey after summoning Ankara’s ambassador to Berlin to protest over the arrest of the six, including head of Amnesty International Turkey İdil Eser.
German citizen Peter Steudtner was also among those jailed pending trial on terrorism charges, which Berlin has labelled as “absurd,” in a move that further escalated tensions between the NATO allies.
“There was direct interference in the Turkish judiciary and the comments used overstepped the mark,” said the Turkish Foreign Ministry, referring to the comments by the German government and the foreign ministry spokesmen.
“The comments again show the double standards in their approach to the law of those who prevent terrorists being brought to justice while embracing members of terrorist groups who target our country,” the ministry said.