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Turkey Refuses to Give Reason for Banning Sputnik Bureau Chief's Entry

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Security forces in Istanbul and security services at the Ataturk International Airport have refused to give any reasons on why Sputnik-Turkey's bureau chief, Tural Kerimov, has been denied entry into the country.

ANKARA (Sputnik) — Kerimov, who was also stripped of his accreditation and residence permit in Turkey, is currently at the Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul awaiting deportation.

“Entry bans and deportations are standard procedures in any country and not all security organs have information on such incidents,” a security force spokesman in Istanbul told RIA Novosti, adding that the question should be posed to the Ataturk International Airport security authorities.

Representatives from the airport’s security service, however, refused to comment on the situation.

“It’s out of the question that we would comment on such incidents and shared information with someone,” a security service employee said.

The Turkish government blocked access to the Sputnik News Agency website without notice last Thursday, citing "administrative measures." This was the latest example of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's crackdown on press freedoms in the country. In 2015, 14 Turkish journalists were imprisoned, and Zaman, one of the country's largest opposition newspapers, was shuttered by the government.

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