General Assembly in Istanbul: Turkey criticizes Interpol again

Status: 23.11.2021 1:14 a.m.

Interpol holds its general assembly in Istanbul for three days. The relationship between the International Police Organization and Turkey has been tense for a long time.

By Karin Senz, ARD-Studio Istanbul

The background to the dispute between Turkey and Interpol are various requests by Ankara in the form of a “Red Notice”. A country wants to determine the whereabouts of a person and have them arrested. However, Interpol has rejected many of these requests. Almost 800 are said to have been in connection with the attempted coup in 2016, said the Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Kiran in the summer.

Karin Senz
ARD-Studio Istanbul

Ankara blames the Gülen movement and calls it a terrorist organization. The cooperation with Interpol is not running at the desired level, Kiran added.

Merkel wants Ankara to abuse Interpol

At the general assembly in Istanbul they wanted to explain to the participants that they saw themselves in the right in the fight against the Gülen movement or the Kurdish PKK. Countries in which wanted people are staying can decide independently whether they should actually arrest and extradite them.

One of the most prominent cases is that of the Turkish author Dogan Akhanli, who lived in Cologne for years and died at the end of October. In 2017 the police temporarily arrested him while on vacation in Spain because of a “red notice” from Turkey. Chancellor Merkel accused Ankara of abusing Interpol.

Turkey uses Interpol particularly often

Allegedly there is also an unsuccessful “Red Notice” against the Turkish journalist Can Dündar on account of terrorist allegations. Dündar has lived in Berlin for years.

For the US think tank Heritage Foundation, Turkey is one of the most active in history when it comes to harnessing Interpol for its own purposes. The statutes of the police organization state that they are not allowed to take action on political, military, religious or racial issues.

The Turkish mafia boss is fussed

Also interesting is the case of the Turkish mafia boss Sedat Peker, whom Ankara also wanted to have searched for via “Red Notice”. In numerous videos, he had accused high-ranking politicians, including those close to President Erdogan, of being part of organized crime. Turkey suspects Peker is in the United Arab Emirates.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, which belongs to the Emirates, is to visit President Erdogan at the same time as the Interpol General Assembly. Erdogan is expected to press to extradite Peker.

Allegations against candidates for Interpol presidency

The Interpol delegates want to elect a new president on Thursday. One of the candidates is just from the United Arab Emirates. Ahmed Nasser al-Raisi is extremely controversial over allegations of torture. There are therefore lawsuits against him in several countries, including France, the headquarters of Interpol, and Turkey.

In a joint statement, three members of the Bundestag from the traffic light parties write of a devastating human rights record in the United Arab Emirates. Al-Raisi’s appointment would put Interpol’s reputation at risk.

Interpol General Assembly in Turkey Signal for détente?

Karin Senz, ARD Istanbul, 11/22/2021 11:48 p.m.

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