12:28 GMT +320 October 2019
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    Tural Kerimov

    Journalist Federations Condemn Ankara’s Entry Ban to Sputnik's Bureau Chief

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    The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on Wednesday condemned the entry ban imposed by Ankara against Sputnik Turkey Bureau Chief Tural Kerimov, a week after Sputnik’s Turkish-language website was blocked in the country.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, Kerimov said that he had been barred from entering the country by the Turkish authorities upon arrival at Istanbul Ataturk Airport. A border control officer reportedly told the journalist that he was flagged as persona non grata in Turkey and seized his residence permit before sending him back to Russia.

    “Both Federations are extremely worried about the ongoing negative trends in Turkey targeting foreign press correspondents… The free access to information in Turkey is seriously blocked which is unacceptable for a country candidate to the EU,” a statement on the IFJ’s website said.

    According to the statement, Kerimov is the 10th foreign press correspondent banned from Turkey in the last six months. Each of these cases constituted “grave violations against foreign press correspondents in Turkey or willing to enter the country to report about the situation.”

    Turkey's crackdown on journalists and restrictions on freedom of speech were previously criticized by the international community, including the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, Russia and organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Turkey ranks 151th out of 180 countries in the RSF 2016 press freedom index.

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