The German conspiracy theorist Attila Hildmann is wanted with an Interpol arrest warrant. Most recently, Hildmann was tracked down in Turkey. But the local authorities did not arrest him. Is there a calculation by Erdogan behind it?

The German government has still not asked Turkey to extradite Attila Hildmann, although his whereabouts have been known since October 2022 thanks to research by “Stern”. This was confirmed by the leading investigative authority, the Berlin Public Prosecutor’s Office, when asked by “Stern”.

A spokesman for the authorities said that the public prosecutor’s office only found out through the star and the research group Hildbusters that Hildmann lives in the small Turkish town of Kartepe. According to stern information, he continues to live there.

Since there is an Interpol arrest warrant, Turkey is obliged under the European extradition treaty to arrest Hildmann and transfer him to Germany. According to the Attorney General’s Office, the federal government can only officially request Turkey’s extradition if the Turkish police have either arrested Hildmann or Turkey has explicitly requested Germany to submit an extradition request.

Neither has been the case so far. “On the other hand, extradition requests are not made out of the blue,” says a spokesman for the authority. For this reason, the federal government “has not yet made any extradition requests” against Hildmann.

The responsible Federal Ministry of Justice did not want to comment on whether the federal government had attempted to request extradition at the diplomatic level. In November, Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser visited her Turkish counterpart Süleymann Soylu in Ankara. It was rumored that Faeser had also spoken to Soylu about Hildmann’s extradition. A spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior told the star that this was “not applicable”.

But why is Turkey not doing its duty to arrest Hildmann? Left-wing member of the Bundestag Andrej Hunko described Hildmann as a “bargaining ground” for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. “He will try to use him as a means of pressure in order to have Turkish opposition figures extradited from Germany in return,” Hunko told Stern.