Berlin’s Turkey stance ’understandable’, EU commissioner Hahn says

Berlin’s Turkey stance ’understandable’, EU commissioner Hahn says

BERLIN – Agence France Presse
Berlin’s Turkey stance ’understandable’, EU commissioner Hahn says Germany’s tough stance on fraying relations with Turkey is "understandable," not least given Ankara’s detention of human rights activists including German nationals, EU Commissioner for Enlargement Johannes Hahn said in an interview published July 22.

"I think we have shown great patience with Turkey. It seems not to appreciate that. The reaction of Germany is understandable," Hahn told German daily Die Welt.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel on July 20 issued a statement in which he warned German firms against investment in Turkey.

Hahn said that Ankara "is moving further and further away from European standards" since July 15, 2016 deadly coup attempt.

"The most recent arrests of human rights campaigners sadly confirms the destructive course Turkey has taken since the coup attempt, which we have firmly condemned," said Hahn.

On July 5, 10 human rights activists had been detained in a police operation against a digital security and information management workshop in Istanbul’s Büyükada Island.

Six of the activists, including Amnesty International’s Turkey director İdil Eser, were arrested on July 18 on charges of being a member of an armed terror organization. 

The court however ordered the release of the four on probation and banned them from travelling abroad.

However on July 21, the Istanbul court issued a detention warrant for four activists who had previously been released on probation.