Mahmut Canbay, director of a Hamburg Mut Theatre, has been arrested on his arrival in Turkey. Canbay told the German Press Agency on Friday that he had been interrogated for eight hours. He was banned from entering the country on Thursday evening.
According to Hamburger Abendblatt, Canbay is a German Turk of Kurdish descent and wanted to participate with a youth group in a theatre festival in the West Turkish metropolis of Izmir. He is the artistic director of the Mut Theatre in Hamburg’s Schanzenviertel.
Canbay told the German Press Agency that he had been denied a lawyer. They forced him to unlock his smartphone and checked all e-mails, contacts and chats. Among other things, he had been asked about a caricature of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which an acquaintance had sent him by whatsapp. On it Erdogan is depicted as a dictator.
He was asked why he had not deleted them. Finally he was put into a machine to Cologne.