Saturday

8th Aug 2020

Anti-Erdogan reporter risks deportation from Germany

  • Turkey has jailed more journalists than any other country (Photo: Reuters)

A Turkish journalist based in Germany and a vocal critic of president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing deportation to Turkey.

German media on Sunday (28 October) reported that Turkish journalist Adil Yigit's residency permit had not been extended and that he must leave the country by the end of January.

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The 60-year old reporter had staged a protest in Berlin last month during a press conference between chancellor Angela Merkel and Erdogan.

He was escorted out of the press briefing by security officers for wearing a T-shirt inscribed with the legend "Freedom for journalists in Turkey", in a move defended by the German government.

"The two things have to be related, there's no other possible explanation," Yigit told German news agency DPA.

Erdogan had also referenced Yigit in a speech he gave to members of the conservative Islamic ruling party AKP in Ankara in early October, describing him as a troublemaker.

Yigit writes for German newspaper TAZ and runs the Turkish blog Avrupa Postasi. He has spent 36 years in Germany.

The DPA reports that migration officials in Hamburg decided not to renew his residency permit because he is not gainfully employed and no longer has any connection with his children.

Turkey is the world's biggest jailer of journalists and was ranked 157th among 180 countries in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index, according to Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based NGO.

Turkey has accused reporters and editors in the country of having ties to US-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen.

Turkey says Gulen was the mastermind behind a failed military coup in July 2016, a charge he denies.

The Stockholm Centre for Freedom, an journalist-run advocacy group, says 237 journalists and media workers were in jail as of earlier this month. Most were in pre-trial detention.

Turkey has also issued detention warrants for another 148 exiled journalists and shut down around 200 media outlets following the failed coup.

Deniz Yucel, a correspondent for the German daily Die Welt, had been detained for a year in Turkey before his release in January.

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