Turkish journalist Can Dundar faces Interpol red notice possibility | Middle East| News and analysis of events in the Arab world | DW | 02.04.2018
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Middle East

Turkish journalist Can Dundar faces Interpol red notice possibility

An Istanbul court requested that President Erdogan's government ask Interpol countries to arrest journalist Can Dundar, who currently lives in Germany. Dundar has said such a request would be a "disgrace" for Turkey.

A court in Turkey on Monday called upon Ankara to issue an Interpol red notice for dissident Turkish journalist Can Dundar, according to the state-run Anadolu news agency. 

The notice asks countries belonging to the international policing body to detain those flagged for possible extradition, but it can be disregarded by Interpol countries. 

Read more: Interpol: Who polices the world's police?

Dundar is living in exile in Germany and is on trial in absentia.

The court also issued an arrest warrant for Dundar within Turkey.

It remains unknown whether the Turkish government will follow the court's request for a red notice. A Turkish prosecutor had called upon Ankara in September to have the notice issued.

Sensitive report

Dundar, who was formerly editor-in-chief of the daily Cumhuriyet, was convicted in Turkey in May 2016 on charges of disclosing state secrets after he reported about alleged arms shipments to Syrian rebels by the Turkish National Intelligence Organization (MIT).

He moved to Germany in June 2016 while his conviction was being appealed.

Last month, the Supreme Court of Appeals overturned an imprisonment sentence of five years and 10 months given in 2016 as too lenient, and ordered a retrial to begin on May 7. It said the new trial should seek up to 20 years in jail for Dundar.

'Intimidation attempt'

Dundar said Monday on Twitter that it would be a "disgrace" if Ankara asked Interpol to arrest him.

He told DW that the step was another intimidation attempt by the Turkish government, and that it was important how Interpol reacted.

"The Turkish government is trying to give Interpol a role as if it were Erdogan's police. Interpol should process Turkey's applications very carefully," he said.

"They made a mistake in Spain and arrested a journalist. I hope that they have now become somewhat more cautious," he added, referring to the detention of fellow Erdogan critic Dogan Akhanli by Spanish police in August last year at Ankara's request.

Akhanli, who also lives in Germany but was holidaying in Spain at the time of his arrest, was allowed to return home in October 2017.

Although Dundar stepped down as Cumhurriyet editor-in-chief in August 2016, he continues to criticize the policies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in articles and interviews.

 tj/cmb (dpa, EFE)

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