A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (19 July):
It was necessary to inform the Turkish Government directly, immediately and unambiguously about the German Government’s outrage and lack of understanding, as well as its crystal-clear views and expectations, in the case of Peter Steudtner – and to do so without using diplomatic pleasantries.
That is why the Turkish Ambassador was summoned this morning on the instructions of Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel to a meeting at the Federal Foreign Office. This meeting has just taken place at the Federal Foreign Office.
The Turkish Ambassador was told in no uncertain terms that the detention of Peter Steudtner and other human rights activists is incomprehensible, unacceptable and utterly inexplicable. The German Government demands that Peter Steudtner be released immediately and that its consular staff be granted unrestricted access to him without delay. The representative of the Turkish Government has promised to convey this message immediately to the Turkish Government.
The Turkish Ambassador is now aware that we mean business and that this matter cannot be postponed, but is of the utmost urgency.
Accusations of links to terrorist organisations have clearly been invented – that is, unless one wishes to classify Amnesty International and other human rights organisations as terrorist organisations. That is absurd.
It is equally incomprehensible that journalists are being equated with terrorists, as the Turkish judiciary is doing – apparently at the political orders of the Turkish Government – in the cases of Deniz Yücel and Meşale Tolu.
Foreign Minister Gabriel has decided to cut short his holiday and return to Berlin. He will be in the Federal Foreign Office tomorrow morning to discuss what should now be done in view of the dramatic escalation of Turkey’s actions and what measures should now be taken.