German-Turkish author Doğan Akhanlı released after detention in Spain
BERLIN – Agence France PresseA Spanish court on Aug. 20 granted conditional release from custody to German-Turkish writer Doğan Akhanlı a day after police detained him over Ankara’s request, his lawyer has said.
“The battle was worth it,” the lawyer, İlyas Uyar, wrote on Facebook, adding that Akhanlı “is being released from detention on condition he stays in Madrid,” and that Turkey would have to formally request his extradition.
Akhanlı had been detained in Spain on Aug. 19 after Turkey issued an Interpol warrant for the writer.
Germany’s foreign minister is urging Spain not to extradite the German writer to Turkey after he was detained on a Turkish warrant.
Sigmar Gabriel called his Spanish counterpart on Aug. 19 over the detention of Akhanlı while he was on holiday in Spain.
Akhanlı’s local newspaper, the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger in western Germany, said the Turkish-born writer was detained in the southern Spanish town of Grenada in the morning of Aug. 19. The accusations against him were unknown.
Spanish police had a so-called red notice - an alert circulated by Interpol that is roughly equivalent to an international arrest warrant.
Akhanlı was arrested in 2010 on his arrival at an Istanbul airport for alleged implication in an armed robbery in 1989.
He was released four months later and then declared innocent, before a court of appeal ordered new proceedings against him.
He had been living and working in the German city of Cologne since 1995.
The German Press Agency dpa reported that Akhanli only has German citizenship.
The German section of the writers’ associated PEN said charges against Akhanlı center on a crime committed while he was not in Turkey. The group said it believes the arrest warrant against Akhanlı to be politically motivated.