Another Azerbaijani journalist deported from Turkey

An Azerbaijani journalist was deported from Turkey and sent back to Azerbaijan on Saturday after the accreditation of his press card was canceled, according to the Cumhuriyet daily.

Rauf Mirgadirov, a journalist with the Ayna-Zerkalo newspaper and the Turkey correspondent of the same paper, was detained on his way to Georgia and taken into custody, Cumhuriyet reported on Saturday. He was detained for a night at the Foreigners’ Department of the Ankara Police Department and later sent to his home country. Turkish officials reportedly refused to allow him to go to a third country.

His deportation came after he received a call from the Prime Ministry’s Directorate General of Press and Information (BYEGM). The BYEGM officials reportedly told him that the accreditation of his press card had been canceled without giving a reason. He was therefore trying to go to Georgia with his family to come back to Turkey on a tourist visa; however, the bus that he took with his family to Georgia was stopped by the police and Mirgadirov was detained.

Foreign journalists can work and obtain a residence permit in Turkey after obtaining a press visa from a Turkish embassy of consulate in their home country and a press card from the BYEGM. As Mirgadirov’s press card accreditation had been canceled, his residence permit was also canceled automatically.

Mahir Zeynalov, a Today’s Zaman journalist, was also deported to his home country of Azerbaijan in February when he was put on a list of foreign individuals who are barred from entering Turkey under Law No. 5683 after posting tweets critical of high-level state officials. The stated reason for his deportation by the Interior Ministry was the expiry of his residence permit.


About yavuzbaydar

Yavuz Baydar has been an award-winning Turkish journalist, whose professional activity spans nearly four decades. In December 2013, Baydar co-founded the independent media platform, P24, Punto24, to monitor the media sector of Turkey, as well as organizing surveys, and training workshops. Baydar wrote opinion columns, in Turkish, liberal daily Ozgur Dusunce and news site Haberdar, and in English, daily Today's Zaman, on domestic and foreign policy issues related to Turkey, and media matters, until all had to cease publications due to growing political oppression. Currently, he writes regular chronicles for Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, and opinion columns for the Arab Weekly, as well as analysis for Index on Censorship. Baydar blogs with the Huffington Post, sharing his his analysis and views on Turkish politics, the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, U.S-Turkish relations, human rights, free speech, press freedom, history, etc. His opinion articles appeared at the New York Times, the Guardian, El Pais, Svenska Dagbladet, and Al Jazeera English online. Turkey’s first news ombudsman, beginning at Milliyet daily in 1999, Baydar worked in the same role as reader representative until 2014. His work included reader complaints with content, and commentary on media ethics. Working in a tough professional climate had its costs: he was twice forced to leave his job, after his self-critical columns on journalistic flaws and fabricated news stories. Baydar worked as producer and news presenter in Swedish Radio &TV Corp. (SR) Stockholm, Sweden between 1979-1991; as correspondent for Scandinavia and Baltics for Turkish daily Cumhuriyet between 1980-1992, and the BBC World Service, in early 1990's. Returning to Turkey in 1994, he worked as reporter and ediytor for various outlets in print, as well as hosting debate porogrammes in public and private TV channels. Baydar studied informatics, cybernetics and, later, had his journalism ediucatiob in the University of Stockholm. Baydar served as president of the U.S. based International Organizaton of News Ombudsmen (ONO) in 2003. He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at University of Michigan in 2004. Baydar was given the Special Award of the European Press Prize (EPP), for 'excellence in journalism', along with the Guardian and Der Spiegel in 2014. He won the Umbria Journalism Award in March 2014 and Caravella/Mare Nostrum Prize in 2015; both in Italy. Baydar completed an extensive research on self-censorship, corruption in media, and growing threats over journalism in Turkey as a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
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