Turkey seeks INTERPOL Red Notice for exiled journalist Dündar

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A Turkish court on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant and decided to submit a Red Notice request for former editor-in-chief of the Cumhuriyet daily and journalist in exile Can Dündar, Turkish media outlets reported.

The arrest warrant was issued over Dündar’s failure to attend a hearing on the legal action brought against him on charges of “disclosing confidential information related to the state’s security and political interests” and “acquiring the confidential information of the state for political and military espionage.”

An İstanbul court had tried him in connection with a Cumhuriyet story on Turkish intelligence trucks carrying hidden weapons bound for Syria in early 2014. He was sentenced to 27 years, six months on charges of political and military espionage and knowingly and willfully helping a terrorist organization, while the other charges had been separated from the trial.

In a Twitter post, Dündar claimed that the court’s Red Notice request would be fruitless, saying: “A Red Notice can be issued only by INTERPOL. Courts may submit a request to the Justice Ministry to file for a Red Notice with INTERPOL. But INTERPOL does not take any filing from Ankara seriously as it knows Ankara’s real motive is to silence dissidents.”

Dündar had been arrested and jailed for 92 days for reporting the interception of the Syria-bound trucks allegedly belonging to Turkish intelligence. He was arrested on Nov. 26, 2015 and released on Feb. 26, 2016 following a Constitutional Court decision.

The Turkish government claimed that the trucks were carrying humanitarian aid to Turkmens in war-torn Syria and that the search was ordered by followers of the Gülen movement in the judicial and security institutions.

Shortly after his release and an armed attack against him, Dündar quit his position as editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet and left Turkey as scores of other journalists under pressure have done.

Dündar left Turkey prior to a failed coup attempt on July 15, 2016. He has lived in Germany since June 2016.

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