Turkey issues warrant for exiled opposition journalist

Ankara (AFP) –


Turkey issued an arrest warrant Wednesday against exiled opposition journalist Can Dundar, accusing him of involvement in anti-government protests in 2013, the state-run Anadolu agency reported.

Dundar, former editor of the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper, fled to Germany after being convicted in 2016 over an article alleging that Turkey had supplied weapons to Islamists groups in Syria.

This new warrant is linked to an investigation into Turkish financier and philanthropist Osman Kavala, who has been imprisoned for more than a year.

Investigators suspect him of having financed the anti-government protests in 2013 and of being linked to the 2016 failed coup bid, which he has repeatedly denied.

Rights groups have condemned the fact that he has still not been formally charged with anything.

Dandar is accused of having acted as an agent trying to increase tensions and having tried to reinforce the resistance of members of a "terrorist" organisation to the security forces.

Responding to news of the warrant, Dundar tweeted that he was proud to be associated with the protests.

Controversy over the Kavala case has intensified after 14 Turkish academics and activists were detained last month over links to the imprisoned philanthropist, although most were subsequently released.

The arrests were greeted with strong protests by the United States, European Union and the Turkish opposition.

During a visit to Berlin in September, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan handed Germany a list of dozens of people Ankara wants extradited, including Dundar.