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Author sought by Turkey in Spain cursed as he returns to Germany

Europe
19.10.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Dusseldorf (dpa) - Turkish-born writer and German citizen Dogan Akhanli was verbally abused as he returned to Dusseldorf Thursday, two months after he was detained in Spain because Turkey alleges he has links to terrorists.

As Akhanli stepped into Dusseldorf airport‘s arrivals hall, a man began yelling at him in Turkish, calling him a "traitor," according to the writer‘s lawyer, Ilias Uyar. Akhanli shouted back, leading to an extended stand-off.

"I was actually very happy returning to Germany," said Akhanli afterwards, noting that he was now a bit upset. "But probably, in about half an hour, I‘ll be happy and relaxed."

The shouting man was apparently a driver waiting for a client who only happened to be there at the time of Akhanli‘s arrival.

Akhanli said the man told him that "this country" cannot save him, no matter where he is.

He was arrested August 19 on an international warrant filed by Turkey. Akhanli, a vocal critic of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the author of books on the Armenian genocide, was on vacation in Spain.

Turkish authorities wanted to extradite 60-year-old Akhanli to Turkey to stand trial. He was released on August 20, but had had to remain in Spain until a court there ruled against his deportation earlier this month.

Akhanli fled Turkey in 1991. He was cleared in absentia by a Turkish court in 2011 after being wanted for robbery and homicide since 1989. His exoneration was later overturned by a higher court, which claimed he had links to terrorists.

Akhanli is scheduled to appear at a press conference in Cologne on Friday.

 

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