Turkey Condemned for Expelling Greek Journalist

Greek journalist Evangelos Areteos. Photo: Evangelos Areteos/Facebook

Gurkan Ozturan, coordinator of Media Freedom Rapid Response at the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom, said that the decision should be reversed.

"Setting up barriers against media freedom is unacceptable. We call upon Turkish authorities to lift this restriction and allow journalists and media organisations to operate freely and to allow the people in Turkey and Europe to enjoy their right to access information and news," Ozturan told BIRN.

Areteos wrote on Monday on Twitter that he believes he was deported because of a reporting trip he made to northern Syria in 2015 and his travels and connections throughout Turkey.

He described the Turkish decision to deport him as "a deeply saddening development that leaves me with grief".

"After 23 years, during which I lived for eight years and then travelled and worked in Turkey, the Turkish authorities decided to deport me and forbade me to return for reasons of 'public order'," he said.

The decision has also been condemned by other media freedom organisations.

"Greek journalist Evangelos Areteos' long history working in Turkey should not come to an unceremonious end due to authorities' disapproval of his work," said Carlos Martinez de la Serna, programme director at the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York.

"Authorities must allow Areteos to return to Turkey, where he should be able to report freely and without fear of retaliation," de la Serna added.

"The expulsion of Areteos, the writer of the Greek-based daily Real, from Turkey, where he has lived for many years, sadly points to the threshold of the [Turkish] authorities' intolerance for criticism," Erol Onderoglu, Turkey...

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