Former Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci is among 42 people barred from entering Turkey, media in the north reported on Tuesday as the backlash continued after journalist Ali Kishmir was refused entry to the country on Sunday.
The ‘government’ in the north played down the issue saying Turkey had a right to refuse entry to anyone it wishes.
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.”
On Monday night, the Turkish Cypriot ‘foreign minister’ Thaksin Ertugruloglu said the issue was being exploited politically by influencing public opinion.
“Entry into Turkey is of course subject to some security procedures, immigration and other consular procedures. There is no right, such as free entry so there is no violation of that right,” he said.
Meanwhile, Avrupa newspaper on Tuesday published on its front page photos of 42 Turkish Cypriots barred from entering Turkey, including its own publisher Sener Levent.
It shows Akinci and his former spokesman Baris Burcu, lawyer Tajian Reinar, the secretary of the union of Turkish teachers Sener Elzil, followed by Avrupa’s columnists Ali Osman and Ahmet and Ali Kou.
Other journalists on the list, according to Avrupa, include Serhat Incirli and Sami Ozuslu, trade unionists such as Selma Eilem, and the former president of the Turkish Cypriot teachers union Kublai Ozkirac.
There are also artists on the list including Yasar Ersoy, Umit Indaci, Senih Tsavusoglu and Nilgun Ecevit Orhon, the paper said.
Avrupa said the list was prepared by the Turkish embassy in the north of Nicosia. “They call it a ‘blacklist’. We call it a ‘whitelist’,” the newspaper said.
The Cyprus Union of Journalists on Monday said it would take joint action with Turkish Cypriot NGO Basin-Sen after Kishmir was barred.
The European Federation of Journalists has also 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 Cyprus Union of Journalists said.