“Total nonsense”: that’s what Özdemir says about her arrest at the airport
The Hamburg parliamentarian Cansu Özdemir (Die Linke) was detained for several hours by the federal police at Düsseldorf airport on Saturday. She wanted to travel to Erbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous regions in Iraq, as part of a “peace delegation”. Özdemir and the party suspect that political interests are behind the determination.
Saturday morning 8 a.m. at Düsseldorf Airport. “I immediately introduced myself to the police as a member of parliament, but they said I had no special rights,” said Özdemir, describing the MOPO incident. The only reason given was ‘political clues’. Özdemir was held at the airport for three to four hours. In the meantime their luggage has already been checked out. The flight to Erbil started without the delegation.
Hamburg MPs detained at the airport
“When they understood that I really am a member of parliament, I was allowed to go. But I stayed to support the other members of the delegation, ”said Özdemir. Right from the start, the group noticed men at the airport who are said to have observed and photographed them. “One could have been from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution, two others looked more of Turkish origin,” said Özdemir.
In their justification for the determination, the Federal Police officially speak of “threats that could permanently damage the security concerns of the Federal Republic of Germany abroad”. It is more precise in the ban on leaving the country for members of the delegation.
Cansu Özdemir arrested: worried about problems with Turkey?
Özdemir describes there were suspicions that some wanted to travel to northern Iraq “as protective shields for the PKK” and that this could lead to problems in their relationship with Turkey. “Total nonsense,” she says. In addition to other MPs, environmental activists, trade unionists and travel photographers are said to have been in the delegation.
Hamburg delegation wanted to visit refugee camps in Iraq
The delegation actually wanted to travel to Erbil to visit a refugee camp there and to hold talks with local organizations and parties. There was also a meeting with the German consul general. “The situation in Erbil is currently escalating sharply. Turkey is waging a war that is contrary to international law, ”said Özdemir. “Recently, three people died in an attack on the Machmur refugee camp.”
Members of the Hamburg delegation arrested in Iraq
A second part of the delegation had started from another airport and was detained in Erbil, including a Berlin deputy.The group is said to have been sent back to Germany via Qatar. Fixing Özdemir can have legal consequences
Özdemir is certain: “The incident will have legal consequences.” Not only was her work as a member of parliament hindered, she also considered the ban on the other members of the delegation to be illegal. Özdemir himself had not received a ban, but did not want to travel to Erbil again for the time being and instead deal with the incident. Hamburg’s Mayor, Carola Veit (SPD), announced that the parliamentary control committee in Hamburg would “definitely” deal with the process.