Video: Turkey tracks down the opposition, beyond its borders

Ahead of Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey, our reporter went to meet members of the Turkish opposition, who have received little airtime in the state-controlled media. Since the 2016 failed coup against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, thousands of opposition supporters have fled Turkey and found refuge in Europe. On the continent, they believed they would be safe and enjoy freedom of speech, but in reality they are forced to live in hiding and fear being arrested.


In the aftermath of the July 2016 failed coup against Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, mass arrests and purges prompted supporters of exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, pro-Kurdish activists and some opposition journalists to seek refuge abroad. They mainly fled to Greece, the Balkans and Germany. In 2017, over 14,000 Turks applied for asylum in Europe, more than half of them in Germany. That’s 250% more than before the attempted coup.

>> Webdocumentary: "Four lives upturned by the great purge in Turkey"

But even abroad, their respite turned out to be short-lived. That’s because the Turkish government is using every possible means to find them, put them on trial and have them convicted: intelligence services, Interpol red notices and even a network of pro-Erdogan activists.

>> Turkish President slams Germany in exclusive interview with France 24

Ahead of this weekend’s presidential and parliamentary elections in Turkey, our reporter Marine Pradel went to meet Turkish opposition members exiled in Germany, who live in fear. For security reasons, they refused to reveal their exact locations and some chose to remain anonymous.

>> Graphics: Six candidates in the 2018 presidential race in Turkey


Following this news report, Interpol wishes to clarify the following points:

All Red Notices must be compliant with INTERPOL’s rules and regulations.

This includes Article 2 of INTERPOL’s Constitution, which makes an explicit reference to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 3, according to which it is ‘strictly forbidden for the organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.’

There are several levels of control to ensure compliance with INTERPOL’s regulations, including a dedicated task force comprising lawyers, police officers, analysts and operational specialists at the INTERPOL General Secretariat headquarters.

All Red Notice requests are examined carefully by the task force to ensure that they comply with INTERPOL’s Constitution and rules.

If a request is not compliant, the notice is not published.

Anyone may request the Commission for the Control of INTERPOL's Files (CCF) to inform them whether information concerning him or her is recorded in INTERPOL's databases. Applications to the Commission are free of charge.

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