Akhanlı’s lawyer does not expect his repatriation to Turkey

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German-Turkish author Doğan Akhanlı

The lawyer of German-Turkish author Doğan Akhanlı, who was released on Sunday after a brief detention by Spanish police at Turkey’s request on Saturday, has said he does not expect Akhanlı to be repatriated to Turkey, Deutsche Welle reported on Monday.

Arguing that Turkey’s request does not carry the aim of a judicial investigation but rather was a hunt via Interpol, Uyar said he appreciated German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s stance on the issue.

Merkel on Sunday criticized Turkey’s use of an Interpol arrest warrant to detain German writer Akhanlı in Spain, saying that this amounted to abuse of the international police agency.

“It is not right and I’m very glad that Spain has now released him. … We must not misuse international organizations like Interpol for such purposes,” Merkel said during an election town hall event.

The 60-year-old writer was detained on Saturday at around 8:30 a.m. local time at his hotel in the southern Spanish city of Granada.

Akhanlı was released on Sunday on condition that he remain in Madrid while Spain assesses Turkey’s extradition request.

While the charges against him remain unclear, German officials said the move was politically motivated.

Having fled Turkey to Germany in 1991, Akhanlı was detained by Spanish police over an Interpol red notice earlier requested by Turkey.

Akhanlı is a member of International PEN and has written much on human rights issues as well as the Armenian “genocide.”

“His arrest was part of a targeted witch-hunt against critics of the Turkish government living abroad in Europe,” Akhanlı’s lawyer told German media.

Deutsche Welle said he was previously arrested in Turkey for opposition activities including running a leftist newspaper while also being briefly detained in August 2010 when he traveled to İstanbul on suspicion of manslaughter and robbery.

Akhanlı’s detention came only days after Swedish-Turkish writer Hamza Yalçın was taken under custody in Barcelona over another Interpol red notice requested by Turkey.

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