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EU Minister Çelik said ”Turkey is safe for the real journalists” – is it true?

Turkey’s EU Minister  Ömer Çelik met on Thursday with Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjorn Jagland. In the press briefing Minister Çelik was asked whether Turkey is still a safe country for foreign journalists.

Safe for “real” journos

He replied: “Turkey is unequivocally safe for foreign journalists. My country is secure for those seeking to perform real journalism. Turkey is safe for real journalists. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that we won’t take necessary measures for those coming our country under the mask of journalism but helping terrorist organizations behind the scenes. Attending the terrorist’s meetings and joining the terrorist activities cannot be deemed within the scope journalistic activity.”

Fake journalists

Though Minister Çelik said the opposite Government’s record of media freedom for foreign media is not very promising, artıgerçek news portal reported. Some of the steps taken against “non-real” media members follow as:

  In February 2017, Die Welt’s correspondent Deniz Yücel was arrested and he is pending trial.

  In April 2017, French photojournalist Mathias Depardon, living in Turkey for several years, detained and then deported.

   In April 2017, Italian traveler and journalist Gabriel Del Grandetaken into custody for 14 days, he fasted hunger strike and deported afterwards.

  In January 2017, The New York Times’ correspondent RodNordland wasn’t allowed to enter the country.

  In December 2016, French journalist Olivier Roger Jean Bertrand taken into custody in Gaziantep and deported.

  In December 2016, The Wall Street Journal’s staff reporter Dion Nissenbaum arrested allegedly for sharing a video showing two Turkish soldiers being burned alive by ISIS militants.

  In November 2016, two Swedish reporters were taken into custody in Diyarbakır for filming military premises.

  In April 2016, freelancer David Lepeska, who has written for Foreign Affairs and Al Jazeera America, denied re-entry to Turkey.

   In April 2016, access to Russian news agency Sputnik banned and Tural Kerimov – director of Sputnik’s Turkey branch- wasn’t allowed entry to the country.

   In April 2016, German public television channel ARD’s correspondent detained temporarily at the airport and refused entry to Turkey.

  In February 2016, Norway’s Aftenposten’s İstanbul representative Silije Kampeasaeter’s  press accreditation was rejected. Allegedly she wasn’t granted a press card because of her fiancé who is a German citizen with Kurdish origin.

  In March 2016, Der Speigel correspondent had to leave Turkey since his press car wasn’t renewed.

  In April 2016 Greek news photographer Giorgos Moutafisdeported.

  In April 2016, Ebru Umar – a Dutch columnist of Turkish descent- was arrested for her tweets critical of President Erdoğan, she was released but not allowed to leave Turkey since holding dual citizenship.

  In April 2016, Finnish journalist Taina Niemela living in Van deported on charges of spying.

Bulent Korkmaz

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