We chose Büyükada because it had cheapest hotel: Released Amnesty International head
The human rights activists who were detained by police at a meeting in July chose Büyükada for the event because the cheapest hotel they could find was there, recently released Amnesty International Turkey Director İdil Eser has said.
“We looked around and Büyükada was the cheapest place. It was also easy to reach. There was nothing mysterious about the choice. People have obsessed over Büyükada as a location simply because another completely unrelated meeting took place there shortly before July 15 [coup attempt],” Eser said in an interview with daily Habertürk released on Nov. 6.
Eser was one of 11 activists, including German citizen Peter Steudtner and Swedish citizen Ali Gharavi, arrested while attending a digital security and stress management workshop in Büyükada, an island off Istanbul, in July.
She told Habertürk that she would not be visiting Büyükada or the Princes’ Islands again in the foreseeable future.
“At the time of the meeting I was tired after a heavy three-and-a-half month workload. People were commenting on my angry and irritable moods. I thought I would be able to go for a dip in a pool or the sea and generally take some rest. But instead I spent my time in Silivri Prison,” Eser said.
The court in Istanbul ordered late on Oct. 25 the release of eight of the 11 imprisoned human rights activists pending the outcome of their trial on “terror” charges.