Interpol cancels red notice for Turkish-German author Doğan Akhanlı

Doğan Akhanlı

German-Turkish author Doğan Akhanlı, who was detained in Spain on an Interpol red notice after the Turkish government requested its issuance, will soon return home as Interpol has dropped the red notice, German Der Spiegel reported on Friday.

According to the report German authorities confirmed to Der Spiegel that Interpol has canceled the red notice for Akhanlı.

Speaking to Der Spiegel, a German Federal Foreign Office spokeswoman said State Secretary Walter J. Lindner was in touch with his Spanish counterpart over Akhanlı’s case.

Der Spiegel said Akhanlı could soon leave Spain for Germany after Spanish authorities acknowledge Interpol’s cancellation of the red notice.

German-Turkish author Akhanlı, who was detained by Spanish police at Turkey’s request on Saturday, was released from custody on Sunday. However, he was not allowed to leave Madrid.

While the accusations 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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