Spanish police detain another Turkish writer over Erdoğan regime’s ‘red notice’ to Interpol

Doğan Akhanlı

Turkish writer Doğan Akhanlı was detained by Spanish police in Grenata over the reason that he was wanted by Turkey with “red notice” to Interpol on Friday as he was on holiday together with his wife, reported T24 online news portal.

However, Turkish-German writer Akhanlı was released on Sunday, Deutsche Welle reported. “The fight was worth it. Dogan Akhanlı is being released,” his lawyer Ilias Uyar said in a Facebook post, according to the report. Akhanlı will be released from detention on condition that he remain in Madrid, Uyar added.

It was previously reported that until a decision given by a Spanish court to not deport him to Turkey, Akhanlı could be kept under custody in Spain. Akhanlı, who was accused of involving a robbery of an exchange office in İstanbul where a person was killed in 1989, was acquited from charges by a court in 2011. However, following an appeal the Court of Cassation had not mproved the decision given by the court of first instance and then a new court case has been opened in 2013 about 60-years-old writer Akhanlı with a demand of sentence for life in prison without pardon.

Writer Akhanlı, who has been living in Cologne, Germany since 1992, was detained in a Turkish airport on 2010 as he visited Turkey to help his sick father. He was put behind the bars for months and later he was acquitted by the court on 2011.

Akhanlı, who has written over human rights issues and Armenian genocide, is a member of International PEN.

Akhanlı’s lawyer Ilias Uyar has stated that “This detention is a trial of Erdoğan to act against critical voices and those he does not like by carrying his power to the out of Turkey’s borders. This order of detention is a clear abuse of law. I demand my client’s immediate release.”

Hamza Yalçın

Spanish police had arrested another leftist Turkish writer Hamza Yalçın, who has dual citizenship in Turkey and Sweden, at Barcelona’s El Prat airport on August 3 and arrested him pending an extradition hearing on charges of insulting Turkey’s autocratic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and maintaining “terrorist links” with the banned Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C).

Yalçın has written for Odak Dergisi, which is often critical of the Turkish government, since immigrating to Sweden in 1984. Yalçın was arrested in Turkey in 1979 for being a member of the ultra-left Turkish Peoples Liberation Party/Front (THKP-C). He escaped from prison after serving six months and applied for asylum in Sweden in 1984. He later returned to Turkey and served three years in prison from 1990 to 1994. He then returned to Sweden again.

Turkey, which is under the despotic rule of Erdoğan, has detained numbers of foreign journalists beside of tens of Turkish journalists in recent time. Turkey is ranked 155th out of 180 countries in Reporters Without Borders (RSF) 2017 World Press Freedom Index.

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has showed that 283 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of August 18, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 258 are arrested pending trial, only 25 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 135 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.

Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt. Turkey’s Contemporary Journalists’ Association (ÇGD) recently announced that more than 900 press cards were cancelled.

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