Turkey Deports German Photojournalist Who was to Cover Armenian Genocide Article
ISTANBUL — Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine’s photojournalist was barred from entering into Turkey and deported on the alleged suspicion of being jihadist last week although German officials informed Turkish authorities about the situation of the journalist, according to Diken.com news portal.
Spyra reportedly boarded a Turkish Airlines flight from Germany’s Dusseldorf en route to Istanbul on March 28 to cover an article about the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. When he landed in Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport, four civilians took him to a special security area and told him to open his luggage, Sunday’s Zaman reports. Spyra reportedly tried to tell the officials he is a journalist and showed them his hotel reservation; however, the officials would not listen to him, he said. The journalist said he was told he would be sent to Dusseldorf the next morning and he was taken to the airport’s detention center.
“Turkish authorities told their German colleagues that I was believed to be a jihadist due to my khaki-colored clothes and ‘military equipment.’ … However, we later learned that the night that I was in the airport the German Consulate General informed Turkish authorities that I am a journalist and made a formal protest.”
Last year, Der Spiegel magazine withdrew its Turkey reporter Hasnain Kazim after the journalist received death threats over reports covering a deadly disaster at the Soma coal mine that killed 301 miners. Kazim reportedly received over 10,000 threats via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, one of which included a threat to “cut his throat if seen on the street.”