The German Foreign Ministry has called on Turkey to release the country's two most prominent political prisoners as it commented on a recent plan announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on strengthening human rights.
The ministry said that prominent philanthropist and human rights defender Osman Kavala and former Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair must be released, Deutsche Welle's Turkish service reported on March 4.
Erdoğan on March 2 revealed the "Human Rights Action Plan" and said that Turkey would strengthen the right to a fair trial as well as freedoms of expression and organization in the country.
The German Foreign Ministry stressed that Ankara should "immediately and completely" implement rulings by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), which ruled for the immediate release of both Kavala and Demirtaş.
The ministry also criticized the fact that members of the media, critics and representatives of non-governmental organizations are facing charges based on the country's anti-terror law, saying that the use of it so frequently in the past years has become deeply worrying.
Noting that ensuring freedom of thought and the right to a fair trial is essential in improving human rights, the ministry said that the situation in Turkey would improve if the promises given in the Human Rights Action Plan are fulfilled.
Turkey has international obligations and the promises should be in line with the international standards, the ministry added.