Pro-Erdoğan daily: Detained rights defenders were planning second Gezi-like protest

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The staunchly pro-government Akşam daily on Saturday claimed that a group of human rights defenders who were detained on Wednesday on an İstanbul island were working on a map for a “new Gezi-protest-like riot plan.”

Recalling a previous claim that CIA operatives gathered on the same island shortly before a coup attempt in Turkey on July 15 of last year, the daily reported that the Turkish police and National Intelligence Organization (MIT) had received new information about a meeting attended by eight human rights defenders and two foreign trainers at a hotel on Büyükada, one of the Princes’ Islands off İstanbul.

According to the daily, the human rights defenders, who were active during the Gezi Park protests in 2013, a member of the Gülen movement and two foreign trainers — a German and a Swedish national — were working on a map of Turkey when security forces raided the hotel.

The pro-gov’t daily claimed that 11 people including the hotel owners were working on how to spread an İstanbul-based riot to the rest of Turkey.

Akşam also claimed that German national Peter Steudtner and Swedish-Iranian national Ali Ghavari were training participants on the use of social media and the mobilization of the people for riots in the future.

Turkish police, acting on an anonymous tip, raided a hotel on Büyükada and detained İdil Eser from Amnesty International (AI), İlknur Üstün from the Women’s Coalition, lawyer Günal Kurşun from the Human Rights Agenda Association, lawyer Nalan Erkem from the Citizens Assembly, Nejat Taştan from the Equal Rights Watch Association, Özlem Dalkıran from the Citizens’ Assembly, lawyer Şeyhmuz Özbekli, and Veli Acu from the Human Rights Agenda Association. Two foreign trainers as well as the hotel owner, who was later released, were also detained.

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