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AFP
March 13, 2019

‘Turkey reversed denial of press card’

World

AFP
March 13, 2019

BERLIN: One of three German journalists who were recently refused new press accreditations by Turkey said on Tuesday that he had received the work credentials after all.

Joerg Brase, Istanbul bureau chief for ZDF public television, said on Twitter that Ankara "took back their rejection of my press card" for 2019 and that he would return to Istanbul soon. However, there was no immediate news from Thomas Seibert, who writes for Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel, and who had also been denied credentials for unknown reasons.

Both men were forced to leave Turkey on Sunday, a day after German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas complained it was "unacceptable" that German correspondents could not do "their job freely" in Turkey. Another German journalist, Turkish-born NDR television correspondent Halil Gulbeyaz, also had his application rejected.

It is believed several dozen foreign journalists in Turkey are still waiting for accreditation. At a news conference in Istanbul on Sunday, Brase and Seibert accused the Turkish government of trying to "silence" international media, as it had done to the domestic press.

Berlin-Ankara relations were badly strained following a failed 2016 coup in Turkey and the subsequent arrest by Turkish authorities of tens of thousands of people, including Germans. But ties improved after the release of German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel and others whom Berlin labelled political prisoners. The German foreign ministry updated its travel advisory for Turkey Saturday to warn of potential "further measures against representatives of the German media or civil society institutions".

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