Instead of Chasing Terrorists, Spanish Police Arrests a Turkish Writer Dealing With the Persecution of Armenians


August 19th, 2017 – Fort Russ News –

– Neue Zürcher Zeitung – – translated by Samer Hussein –


The Turkish-born Cologne-based writer Dogan Akhanli has been arrested, following an arrested warrant, issued by the Turkey and a Red Notice from Interpol.

Exact details are not yet know, although it has been announced that consular assistance was sought.

Akhanli has lived in Germany since his departure from Turkey in 1991 and only has a German citizenship. 

What is he accused of is not exactly known either. His lawyer Ilias Uyar told the DPA that the arrest warrant had come from Turkey. This was also confirmed by the Spanish police. 

Uyar told the Cologne paper Stadt-Anzeiger that the Spanish police arrested Akhanli on the grounds of a Red Notice from Interpol. Akhanli was therefore arrested on Saturday morning while being on holiday in Granada, Spain. 

In his works, the 1957-born writer born also deals with the persecution of Armenians in Turkey. According to der Spiegel, Akhanli’s arrest will likely increase tensions between Berlin and Ankara.

Green Party MEP Volker Beck said that the Turkish approach was “clearly wrong.” He called on the German Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, to take immediate action for Akhanli’s release. 

Gabriel had traveled to Spain the previous day in the wake of  terror attack that devastated Barcelona the day earlier.

“How far do we want to let Erdogan get in Europe?”, asked Katja Kipping, the head of the left-wing party, on Twitter.

The PEN writers association said the trial against Akhanli was clearly politically motivated. Its vice-president Sascha Feuchert urged the Spanish authorities not to extradit Akhanli to Turkey.

Akhanli was initially accused of having been involved in a robbery in Istanbul back in 1989. He has lived in Germany since his escape from Turkey in 1991 and is a German citizen.

In October 2011, however, he was acquitted of charges of robbery and manslaughter, although the acquittal was later lifted.

In 2010, he was arrested at an Istanbul International Airport when he wanted to enter Turkey to visit his terminally ill father. He was arrested and placed in custody, although he was pardoned on the very first day. Few days later he returned to Germany.

According to Akhanli’s lawyer, the so-called Red Notice was issued against the author by Interpol. 

A Red Notice is a request to locate and provisionally arrest an individual pending extradition. It is issued by the General Secretariat at the request of a member country or an international tribunal based on a valid national arrest warrant. It is, however, not an international arrest warrant.

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