Turkey, the most notorious country in the world in terms of jailing journalists, has also come after foreign reporters in an ever-escalating crackdown on freedom of the press and freedom of expression.
Dozens of foreign reporters have faced administrative and legal action including false imprisonment by the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, which is bent on silencing all critical voices in Turkey including local, regional, national and even foreign ones.
A report by the Stockholm Center for Freedom titled “The Clampdown on Foreign Journalists in Turkey” explains in detail how reporters from other countries face serious obstacles in Turkey that at times suggest a deliberate, systematic and calibrated policy by the government is, in fact, being implemented.
Among the most common rights violations experienced by foreign journalists are detention and jailing, denial of residence permit extensions, cancelation of accreditation, deportation, a prohibition on entering Turkey, discrediting and finger-pointing.
Although convictions are rare, there are a few examples that are enough to send a chilling message. Around half a dozen foreign journalists have also died under suspicious circumstances in the last five years, although the masterminds behind these killings were never identified.
Due to increased obstacles to freedom of expression, a climate of fear and xenophobic attitudes that has often been fueled by the narrative of senior officials, foreign journalists in Turkey are having a difficult time doing their jobs. They are hard-pressed to communicate with news sources, with experts, academics and other sources who avoid talking to foreign reporters for fear of being labeled as traitors or collaborators. Please click on the report’s PDF
Clampdown on foreign journalists in Turkey_Updated list
(As of March 14, 2019)
|Natalia Sancha||Spanish||El Pais||Denied entry to Turkey||31/10/2015|
|Jake Hanrahan||British||Vice News||Arrested||31/08/2015||Released on 07/09/2015|
|Muhammed İsmail Resul||Iraqi||Interpreter for Vice News||Arrested||31/08/2015||Released on parole on 05/01/2016|
|Philip Pandlebury||British||Vice News||Arrested||31/08/2015||Released on 07/09/2015|
|Yasmine Ryan||New Zealander||TRT World||Suspicious Death||30/11/2017||Believed to be a suicide|
|Firas Hammadi||Syrian||Ayn-al Watan||Suspicious Death||30/10/2015||ISIL claimed|
|Ibrahim Abdulkadir||Syrian||Ayn-al Watan||Suspicious Death||30/10/2015||Blamed on ISIL|
|Naji El Jerf||Syrian||Hentah||Killed||27/12/2015||A gunman convicted|
|Raphael Geiger||German||Stern||Press credentials not renewed||27/04/2017|
|Deniz Yücel||Turkish-German||Die Welt||Arrested||27/02/2017||Released on 16/02/2018|
|Dion Nissenbaum||American||The Wall Street Journal||Detained||26/12/2016||Released three days later. Left Turkey|
|David Lepeska||American||Freelance||Denied entry to Turkey||25/04/2016|
|Halla Barakat||Syrian-American||Freelance||Killed||22/09/2017||A relative was convicted|
|Giorgos Moutafis||Greek||Bild||Denied entry to Turkey||22/04/2016|
|Tural Kerimov||Russian||Sputnik Türkiye||Denied entry to Turkey||20/04/2016|
|Serena Shim||Lebanese-American||Press Tv||Suspicious Death||19/10/2014|
|Volker Schwenck||German||ARD||Denied entry to Turkey||19/04/2016|
|Jacky Sutton||United Kingdom||Institute for War and Peace Reporting||Suspicious Death||17/10 2016|
|Hasnain Kazim||German-Pakistanian||Spiegel||Press credentials not renewed||17/03/2016|
|Ans Boersma||Netherlands||Het Financieele Dagblad||Deported||17/01/2019|
|Rod Nordland||American||The New York Times||Denied entry to Turkey||17/01/2017|
|Ceren Kumova||Turkish||Agence France-Presse||Prevented from reporting||16/06/2013|
|Ceylan Yeğinsu||Turkish-British||The New York Times||Prevented from reporting||16/06/2013|
|Thomas Seibert||Germany||Tagesspiegel||Press credentials not renewed||01/02/2019|
|Jörg Brase||Germany||ZDF||Press credentials not renewed||01/02/2019|
|Max Zirngast||Austrian||Re:volt magazine||Released pending trial |
|11/09/2018||Detained on September 11, 2018. Arrested on September 21, 2018 over their alleged membership into a terrorist organization.
Released on December 24, 2018
Acquitted in September 2019
|Arash Shoja Shargh||Iranian||Gilane No||Extradited||04/09/2018|
|Jamal Khashoggi||Saudi Arabia||Washington Post||Murdered||02/10/2018||Jamal Khashoggi was killed on October 2, 2018 during his visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.|
|Ayla Albayrak||Turkish||Wall Street Journal||Convicted||11/10/2017||Sentenced in absentia to two years in prison over 'terrorist propaganda'|
|Gabriele Del Grande||Italian||Freelance||Detained||09/04/2017||Released and deported on 24/04/2017|
|Mathias Depardon||French||National Geographic||Detained||08/05/2017||Released 3 days later and sent to Immigration Authority Deportation Center in Gaziantep. Deported on 17/06/2017|
|Loup Bureau||French||Freelance||Arrested||02/08/2017||Released on 15/09/2017|
|Olivier Bertrand||French||Les Jours||Detained||12/11/2016||Released on 14/11/2016 and deported|
|Claus Blok Thomsen||Danish||Politiken||Denied entry to Turkey||09/07/2016|
|Silje Rønning Kampesæter||Norwegian||Aftenposten||Press credentials not renewed||08/02/2016|
|Lindsey Snell||American||Freelance||Arrested||07/08/2016||Released on 13/10/2016|
|Beatriz Yubero||Spanish||La Razón Bez||Detained||06/08/2016||Released the following day and deported|
|Frederike Geerdink||Dutch||Freelance||Detained||06/01/2015||Released on the same day. Detained again on 06/09/2015, after three days in custody, deported on 09/09/2015|