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German author arrested during vacation in Spain on Turkey's behest

Europe
19.08.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Berlin (dpa) - Dogan Akhanli, a Germany-based author of Turkish origin, has been detained in Spain on the behest of Turkey, his lawyer told dpa, though it is unclear what he is being accused of.

The German Foreign Ministry on Saturday confirmed only that it knew of the incident and was working on offering consular support.

Spanish police, who also said the detention request came from Turkey, told local media that Akhanli would be handed over to authorities.

Akhanli‘s lawyer, Ilias Uyar, told a German newspaper that a so-called red notice from Interpol had been out for the author. He was therefore arrested Saturday morning while on vacation in Granada.

Akhanli has written extensively about the Armenian genocide, and the arrest was meant as the latest shot in the ongoing spat between Turkey and Germany, according to Spiegel, citing security sources.

The PEN writer‘s association said the arrest was "clearly politically motivated," and the head of the group‘s German branch, Sascha Feuchert, called on Spain not to extradite Akhanli to Turkey.

Akhanli, a German citizen, has been living in Germany since he fled Turkey in 1991. Akhanli was cleared in absentia by a Turkish court in 2011 after being wanted for robbery and homicide since 1989.

However, his exoneration was later overturned by a higher court, saying he was linked to terrorists.

A red notice issued by Interpol is a request from a member country or international tribunal to arrest an individual pending extradition. However, member countries are not forced to arrest those flagged.

 

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