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    By Hook or by Crook: Turkey's Sputnik Ban 'Contradicts All Logic'

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    The Turkish government blocked access to Sputnik News Agency's website last Thursday. It was an emotional decision on behalf of the Turkish authorities and it could seriously damage the international image of Turkey in the political arena and media environment, Chinese professor from Jinan University, Wu Fei, said in an interview to Sputnik.

    On April 20 border control employees at Ankara airport stopped the chief editor of Sputnik Turkey, Tural Kerimov, from entering the country. They confiscated his press card and residence permit.

    The Chinese professor said that since the days of the Cold War, foreign media had the right to work in another country while maintaining factual reliability and absence of provocation in reporting. Turkey has willfully violated this international principle by blocking Sputnik Turkey.

    Wu Fei said that if the country's leadership wants to restore its image in the international arena it should restore the site as soon as possible. In developed and developing countries it is unacceptable to interfere with or stop the work of international media.

    “Turkish action contradicts all logic and puts the entire West in an awkward position, as it shows the inability of the authorities to think sensibly, while dealing with international problems. It is notable that even the Turkish journalists and their readers believe that the Turkish authorities have acted out of the ordinary.”

    Today, in the context of globalization, the spread of information which is the new soft power has been universalized and developed and developing countries have adopted this process. News that has its basis in real facts cannot be prohibited; this is one of the main modules of freedom of press.

    According to the analyst, if Sputnik’s point of view did not match that of the Turkish media or the Turkish government, the Turkish court or other government agencies may take decisions based on analysis of that specific news. There was no analyses published on Sputnik that did not have its basis in actual facts and it is in this context that the Turkish court did not provide any sufficient evidence for banning the news site.

    In addition, even if evidence was presented, the court should have asked for corrections in the appropriate material and only if the publication did not carry out the correction or refused to do so, only then it would be possible to talk about banning Sputnik in Turkey.

    “Absolutely emotional actions taken by Turkey may eventually harm the international political image of the country and relevant non-governmental media can find these actions an act of violation of press freedom,” Fei said.

    Russia must be patient towards such irresponsible behavior on behalf of Turkey. This is a similar incident to when Turkey hit a Russian bomber in Syrian airspace: the situation deteriorated the relations between the two countries to its lowest point back then, and now the situation is getting tense again, the analyst noted.

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    Tags:
    deportation, freedom of speech, interview, ban, Sputnik, Tural Kerimov, Turkey, Russia
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