Turkey extends accreditation of 1 German journalist after initial refusal

The press credentials of German journalist Jörg Brase have been renewed by the Turkish government, which at first had refused to do so, forcing the journalist to leave Turkey, Deutsche Welle reported on Tuesday.

Recently Brase, İstanbul bureau chief for German public television ZDF, and Thomas Seibert, a writer for the Tagesspiegel newspaper, had their applications for press cards rejected by the Turkish government for unknown reasons.

The two journalists left Turkey on Sunday.

Thomas Seibert (L), reporter for Tagesspiegel and Jörg Brase, correspondent for ZDF left Turkey on March 10, 2019 after their accreditations were not renewed.

Following the renewal of his press credentials, Brase announced that he would return to Turkey in a few days, while the editor-in-chief of Tagesspiegel, Mathias Müller von Blumencron, said they expect the same decision to be made for Seibert as well.

At an İstanbul news conference held before they left Turkey, Brase and Seibert accused Ankara of trying to “silence” the international media.

“The Turkish government managed to more or less silence national media, and now they are trying to do it with the international media,” Brase said.

“What we will definitely do is … keep on reporting on Turkish issues, but we will do it from outside Turkey, unfortunately.”

Seibert said he had been accredited as a correspondent in Turkey since 1997.

Relations between Berlin and Ankara had been strained following a failed 2016 coup and the arrest by Turkish authorities of tens of thousands of people including Germans.

But relations improved after the release of several German citizens, including German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel and journalist Meşale Tolu.

Approximately 40 foreign journalists, including German reporters, are still awaiting accreditation in Turkey.

A recent report by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) 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.

SCF has  compiled 36 cases in which foreign journalists in Turkey have faced detention, jailing, denial of residence permit extensions, cancelation of accreditation, deportation, prohibition on entering Turkey, discrediting and finger-pointing in a list in a searchable database format as of March 13, 2019. (SCF with turkishminte.com)

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