Chancellor Angela Merkel said Sunday she was glad a Spanish court had ordered the conditional release of a Turkish-German writer wanted by Ankara and warned Turkey not to “misuse” Interpol to pursue its critics.
“That’s not on. We must not misuse international organisations such as Interpol” in such cases, she said on RTL television about the case of writer Dogan Akhanli, who was arrested Saturday at Turkey’s request while holidaying in Spain.
She said Germany was in close contact with Spain about the case and that she was ready to phone Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy to discuss it if necessary.
Merkel said it was “unfortunately one of many cases” of Turkey pursuing German citizens, mentioning Turkish-German journalist Deniz Yucel of the Die Welt newspaper, who faces trial on terror charges.
“That is why we massively changed out Turkey policy,” Merkel said, speaking at a “town hall meeting” forum with voters, referring to stepped up travel warnings for German tourists and moves likely to dampen new investment in Turkey.
“Equally, it is absolutely unacceptable that the Turkish president has urged German citizens of Turkish descent not to vote” for several major parties in September 24 general election, she said.
Erdogan on Sunday called on Turkish-origin Germans to give a “slap” to both parties in Merkel’s ruling coalition in the poll, pressing on with what Berlin has repeatedly condemned as unprecedented meddling.