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Journalists union backs Turkish Cypriot NGO chief denied entry to Turkey

kishmir and giorgos frangos
Kishmir with the journalists union's Giorgos Frangos in Croatia

The Journalists Union on Monday said it will take joint action with Turkish Cypriot NGO Basin-Sen after the latter’s leader was prevented from entering Turkey.

In a written statement, the union said it “stands by colleague and compatriot Ali Kishmir” and intends to take joint steps with Basin-Sen to make the condemnation of Turkey as widespread as possible.

Kishmir was prevented from entering Turkey on Sunday on his return to the north after a meeting of the European Federation of Journalists in Croatia.

Despite support from journalists, Turkish Cypriot leader Ersin Tatar said that “every country has the right to not allow entry to foreign nationals due to safety reasons, due to threats and insults.”

The European Federation of Journalists has already been informed, while the International Federation of Journalists and the OSCE office of freedom of the press will also be updated about the incident, the announcement added.

In their own post to social media, Basin-Ser said they will “start the necessary legal procedures”.

“We also want to emphasise that what happened is extremely unfortunate and unacceptable for democracy and freedom of expression in Turkey,” the NGO said.

Besin-Ser also referred to “fascism” rising day by day in Turkey, and which is also affecting Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus.

Kishmir said when he reached Istanbul he was told his entry had been disallowed and he was transferred to an area where people were being held before deportation.

He reported his photograph and fingerprints were taken and he was treated like a terrorist.

The incident was also condemned by the Turkish Association of Journalists (GCD), whose leadership was also at the ESA’s annual General Assembly and returned on the same flight.

In a tweet the association said the acts of intimidation against Turkish journalists are unacceptable.

They also demanded the publication of the list of banned persons, saying that the recent incident was the third similar incident in the last three months, which are a “threat to human rights, freedom of the press and expression”.

The other two cases concerned researcher and columnist Ahmet Javit An and academic Ali Biz.

The document given to Kishmir at the Aliens section of Istanbul Airport, stating that he was barred from entering Turkey, was issued by the Istanbul Prefecture.

It adds that within 60 days Kishmir can appeal against the decision either to an administrative court in Turkey or in northern Cyprus.

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