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    U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

    Tillerson 'Must Stress Freedom of Detained Activists' in Talks With Turkey

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    US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should prioritize the arrests of Turkish human rights activists in his talks with Ankara, House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel said on Tuesday in a press release.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the human rights watchdog Amnesty International said its Turkish director, Idil Eser, was among six activists recently arrested on suspicion of involvement in the failed July 2016 coup in Turkey.

    "I call on Turkish authorities to release Idil Eser and her fellow activists without delay or condition, and Secretary Tillerson must make this a top priority in his engagement with Turkey’s government," Engel said.

    "President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan’s brutal crackdown on innocent citizens is part of a clear attempt to consolidate his own power in the wake of last year’s coup attempt," Engel added.

    Turkish authorities have detained thousands of people following the failed coup over their alleged support for exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen and his movement, referred to in Turkey as the Fethullah Gulen Terrorist Organization (FETO).

    Ankara considers Gulen and the Gulen movement to be behind the coup attempt.


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