July 21, 2017 / 7:17 PM / 2 years ago

Istanbul court orders four activists detained again - website

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan makes a speech during a ceremony marking the first anniversary of the attempted coup at the Parliament in Ankara, Turkey July 16, 2017. Murat Cetinmuhurdar/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A Turkish court ordered the re-arrest on Friday of four activists who had briefly been freed after being detained along with the local director of human rights group Amnesty International, Hurriyet Daily News website reported.

The activists were in a group of 10 people detained two weeks ago while attending a workshop near Istanbul. They were released on Tuesday, while the other six were remanded in custody on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization.

The website said the new detention warrants were issued following an appeal against their release by the Istanbul public prosecutor’s office.

The 10 detainees include Amnesty’s Idil Eser, and German national Peter Steudtner, whose arrest has deepened a political crisis between Ankara and Berlin.

Germany said on Friday it was reviewing applications for arms projects from Turkey, accusing it of stepping up covert operations on German soil, and a minister in Berlin compared Ankara’s behavior over the detention of the activists to the authoritarian former communist East Germany.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told Germany to “pull itself together”.

The 10 activists were detained as part of a crackdown following last July’s failed coup attempt in Turkey. Ankara says the steps are necessary to confront many threats against Turkey, but Western countries have been increasingly critical.

Amnesty International said on Tuesday the activists’ detention was part of a “politically motivated witch-hunt”.

Reporting by Dominic Evans; Editing by Louise Ireland

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