Turkey accused of using Interpol summit to crack down on critics

Human rights activists have accused Turkey of using its role as host of Interpol’s general assembly to push for a crackdown on critics and political opponents who have fled the country.

The alert came after the Turkish interior minister, Süleyman Soylu, said his government would use the three-day event in Istanbul to persuade the international criminal police organisation’s officials and delegates to find, arrest and extradite Turkish dissident citizens — particularly those it labels terrorists — abroad.

Interpol has rejected almost 800 red notice requests from Turkey in the past five years, an Interpol spokesperson told the Guardian, insisting that each request was rigorously checked. But critics from the Turkish Democracy Project claim some exiles have been unjustly threatened with arrest and extradition by the organisation.