Schwenck, who works for German broadcaster SWR, part of the ARD network, planned to interview refugees at the Turkey-Syria border.
The story came as no surprise to Sputnik’s Turkish bureau chief Tural Kerimov, who was denied entry into the country at the very same airport and stripped of his press credentials and residence permit in Turkey.
Representatives from the airport’s security service refused to comment on the situation.
“I’m still waiting for an official explanation from the Turkish authorities. When I was last flying to Moscow from Istanbul on Saturday night they stopped me for about ten minutes at passport control, then said everything was all right. They didn’t deport me then and now they refused to let me in,” Kerimov said.
“I landed in Istanbul at 0:40 today with Aeroflot’s flight 2134. The border control staff held me at the passport control for some 10 minutes, then ushered me to the passenger control premises without explaining anything,” Kerimov told reporters from the waiting room for passengers attending inspection and screening at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport.
Kerimov said he had presented all of the documents he had: Russian passport, boarding pass, Turkish press card and Turkish residence permit he had been granted earlier.
After being held for about an hour, Kerimov was handed written notification that he is considered unwelcome in the Turkish Republic and his entrance to the country is barred. He was ordered to leave Turkey on the first available flight.
Kerimov then met with Russia’s consular representative and related the incident.
“I don’t understand why the Turkish authorities refuse to explain why they didn’t let me in, even though I guess I know the true reason,” Kerimov said.
Tural Kerimov was eventually issued an “Inadmissible Passenger Notification Report” by Turkish authorities subjecting him to an entry ban citing the country’s “Law on Foreigners’ and International Protection.
“As for the reasons why they blocked access to Sputnik’s website on Thursday, I guess it has to do with my deportation. With a pertinent decision by an Ankara court still pending and with no official explanations about the decision not to let me enter the country, there is nothing more I can say now,” Tural said.
“The Russian embassy in Ankara and the Consul-General in Istanbul have been very helpful.”
“I called Mr. Podyelyshev, our Consul-General at 2 a.m. this morning and we discussed this whole situation. A member of our consular staff came here today telling me about our diplomats’ efforts to obtain official information about what is going on and why,” Tural Kerimov added.