Two more German citizens have been arrested in Turkey “for political reasons”, Berlin said on Friday, bringing the total number of German political prisoners in Turkish custody to 12.

“On 31 August, two German nationals were detained in Turkey for political reasons,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Adebahr said, adding that news of the arrests was confirmed not by Ankara but by Anatolia airport police.

The consulate in the western city of Izmir was first informed of the arrests. Confirmation then came not from the Turkish government but from Antalya airport police, Adebahr said.

She declined to give further details about the case, saying only that German authorities had so far not been allowed access to the pair.

“Our demands to Turkey are very clear,” said Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert.

“We expect Turkey to release the German nationals who were arrested on unjustifiable grounds.”

Of the 55 Germans currently detained in Turkey, 12 of them – including four with dual German-Turkish citizenship – are being held for political reasons, the foreign ministry said.

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