Germany Summons Turkish Ambassador To Protest Arrests Of Activists

Germany Summons Turkish Ambassador To Protest Arrests Of Activists

 Germany has summoned the Turkish ambassador to protest Ankara's arrest of six human rights activists including a German, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday (July 19).

Spokesman Martin Schaefer added during a regular government news conference that Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel had interrupted his summer vacation and returned to Berlin for government consultations.

“It was necessary that the Turkish government directly and without any detours receive the outrage and the incomprehension of the German government and the crystal clear expectations and messages connected to it in the case of Peter Steudtner, this time without any diplomatic phrases,” he said.

Schaefer added it was "absurd" that Turkey had remanded one of the activists in custody on suspicion of belonging to a terrorist organization.

"The German government demands the immediate release of Peter Steudtner and immediate unhindered consular access,” Schaefer said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Tuesday sharply criticized Turkey's detention of German human rights activist Peter Steudtner as "absolutely unjustified," saying the German government would do all it could to secure his release.

Merkel said the arrest marked another case where innocent people had been caught up in the wheels of the justice system.