Turkish journalist cancels Amsterdam speech after arrest warrant report

Photo: Das Blaue Sofa / Bertelsmann.

A Turkish journalist living in hiding in Germany has cancelled plans to give a talk in Amsterdam next week because Turkey has called for an international warrant to be issued for his arrest.

Can Dündar, the former editor of secular paper Cumhuriyet, was sentenced to almost six years in jail for leaking state secrets. He had been due to appear at the Bali debating centre on November 1.

The sentence followed the publication of an article which said the Turkish government was providing weapons to jihadis in Syria.

A Turkish public prosecutor has now reportedly asked Interpol for an international arrest warrant, making it too dangerous for him to leave Germany. It is still unclear if Interpol has actually honoured the request.

‘You can imagine how sorry I am about this last minute cancellation,’ Dündar told the Bali website. ‘But especially at this moment in time, it is more important than ever that we keep on fighting for our fundamental freedoms and promoting democratic values.’