Turkish airport police on Tuesday denied entry to two French Communist Party members who wanted to attend festivities for Newroz, a celebration of spring’s arrival in traditional Kurdish communities, Turkish media reported.
Sylvie Jan and Michel Laurent were held at a detention center and were to be put on a plane back to France on Wednesday.
The police justified the denial of entry under Article 6458 of the Foreigners and International Protection Law, which gives authority to local governors to prevent foreign nationals from entering the country due to public safety issues.
Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu vowed earlier in March to detain and deport foreign nationals at airports if they are suspected of links to terrorism.
Addressing a rally in the run-up to local elections on March 31, Soylu, a critic-turned-supporter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said it would no longer be possible to act like a traitor overseas by attending events of terrorist organizations targeting Turkey such as the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and then come and enjoy vacation resorts in the country.
Many European countries including Germany have recently revised travel advisories for Turkey, warning their citizens that they may be detained or arrested due to Turkey’s lack of freedom of expression. (SCF with turkishminute.com)