German justice minister calls on EU to deal with Turkey’s arrest warrants for critics

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German Justice Minister Heiko Maas waits for the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting at the Chancellery in Berlin on June 28, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / John MACDOUGALL

German Justice Minister Heiko Mass on Tuesday called on European Union authorities to engage in an intensive dialogue to deal with Turkey issuing arrest warrants for government critics and using Interpol to chase them down.

According to a Deutsche Welle report on Tuesday, Maas said, “Within the EU, we must at the very least begin an intensive dialogue about how we deal with arrest warrants from Turkey,” during an interview with a Funke media group newspaper.

Maas’s call came after Doğan Akhanlı, a Turkish-German author who was detained in Madrid on Saturday on an Interpol red notice earlier requested by Turkey.

Akhanlı was released on Sunday on condition that he remain in Madrid while Spain assesses Turkey’s extradition request, his lawyer İlyas Uyar said.

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

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