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>> The arrest of a writer on Saturday heightening tensions between Turkey and Germany. Chancellor Angela Merkel lashing out at Ankara's use of an INTERPOL arrest warrant. Dogan Akhanli, a critic of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's government, was stopped in Spain after Turkey issued the red notice. It's unclear on what grounds.
He's since been released as Spain assesses Turkey's extradition request, but not without provoking a furious response from Berlin.>> It's not right, we must not misuse international organizations like INTERPOL for such purposes.>> Akhanlis' lawyer told Der Spiegel magazine his client's arrest was part of a quote targeted hunt against critics of the Turkish government living abroad in Europe.
The move fans an already fierce row between the NATO allies. Relations between Turkey and the European Union have been under growing strain since last year's failed military coup. European-Turkish nationals are among the 50,000 people detained since then. On Friday, Erdogan raised tensions further, wading into German politics, urging the 3 million or so people of Turkish origin living in Germany to vote against Merkel in next month's election.
> I am calling on all my countrymen in Germany, do not support them by mistake. The Christian Democrats, SPD, the Green Party are all enemies of Turkey. Support those political parties who are not enemies of Turkey.>> Merkel labeling the intervention unacceptable. But European countries with large Turkish populations are increasingly uneasy of what they see as Ankara's attempts to influence domestic politics.