MEPs suspect Turkey of using Interpol to track activists 

The detention of two writers with dual Swedish/Turkish and German/Turkish nationalities by Spanish authorities, following Interpol arrest warrants issued by Turkey, is up for a debate with Council and Commission on Wednesday.

Hamza Yalçin, a Swedish/Turkish journalist critical of the Turkish government, was arrested and imprisoned on 3 August by the Spanish police at Barcelona airport before boarding a plane to London. Accused by Ankara of insulting Erdoğan and of having terrorist links, he was granted conditional release on Thursday, but will have to remain in Spain, awaiting a decision on Turkey’s request to extradite him.


For his part, Doğan Akhanlı, a German/Turkish writer who has extensively written about human rights, was arrested on 19

August while on holiday in Granada. He was granted conditional release, but ordered to remain in Spain while Turkey’s extradition request is considered.


MEPs are worried that some countries might abuse Interpol and its Red Notice system to persecute members of the political opposition beyond their borders. And while some EU countries refuse to act, others execute the arrest. MEPs are demanding safeguards for human rights defenders and legitimate activists and to improve exchange of information to ensure that the principles of necessity and proportionality are respected when following Interpol alerts.



Procedure: Oral questions to the Commission and the Council, without resolution

Debate: Wednesday, 4 October


@Interpol #HamzaYalçin #DoğanAkhanlı