Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during a speech at the close of the G20 Summit in Hamburg on Saturday, accused recently detained rights activists of being part of the same terror group, trying to implement the aims of those who failed to oust him in a coup last year.
Director of Amnesty International Turkey, Idil Eser, was among ten detained Wednesday, South of Istanbul on the island of Buyukada. According to Turkish police eight human rights defenders, along with two foreign national trainers, a German and a Swedish national were also detained.
There are two very differing accounts of what happened prior to Wednesday's detainments. Turkish President Erdogan has accused the group of gathering for a meeting which was a continuation and the anniversary of July 15, 2016, coup d'état. While a spokesperson for Amnesty International Turkey, claims that "those arrested were attending a digital security and information management workshop."
This is the second arrest for a high profile official involved with Amnesty International in Turkey. In early June, Turkey also detained the Chair of Amnesty International Turkey, Taner Kiliç who is still in custody. Kilic is being held on charges linking him to Fethullah Gulen, a US-based cleric and accused alleged mastermind of last year's attempted coup.
Turkey remains under a state of emergency, which critics of President Erdogan claim are being used to round up not only alleged plotters but anyone who dares to oppose President Erdogan himself.