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German Government Stands in Solidarity With German Activist Detained in Turkey

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The German government stands in solidarity with Peter Steudtner, a German human rights activist, who was detained in Turkey, German government's spokesman Steffen Seibert said Tuesday.

BERLIN (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, local media reported that the Turkish court ruled that Steudtner among six human rights activists, including Amnesty International's Turkey director Idil Eser, should remain in custody. The activists were detained by the Turkish police over allegedly aiding a terrorist group on July 5. The Amnesty International strongly condemned the actions of the Turkish authorities, calling them a "travesty of justice."

"We stand in solidarity with Peter #Steudtner, who has been unjustly detained in Turkey, and we will support him at all levels," Seibert said on his Twitter page.

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On Tuesday, the German Federal Foreign Office strongly criticized the detention of the human rights activists and demanded that Ankara immediately releases Steudtner, calling the accusations "absurd." The Office added that the human rights activist was currently consulted by Germany's Consul General in Istanbul.

The Turkish authorities have been detaining thousands of journalists, diplomats, judges, members of the military and human rights activists after the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016 over their alleged support for the Gulen Movement, commonly referred in Turkey as the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization (FETO). Ankara considers the Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen and FETO to be behind the coup attempt while Gulen, living in exile in the United States, denies the allegations. In April, a journalist and German citizen, Mesale Tolu was detained by the Turkish police also over accusation in aiding terrorist groups.

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