New York Times correspondent denied entry into Turkey
AFP photoVeteran New York Times correspondent Rod Nordland was briefly detained by border officials in Turkey as he arrived on Jan. 17 at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport, before being forced to take a flight back to London, with no explanation given as to why he had been refused entry into the country.
There was no immediate explanation from Turkish officials about the action, the Times said, adding that this appeared to be the first time a Times correspondent had been denied entry into Turkey.
An official of the office of the Turkish presidency was not immediately available for comment to The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, lawyer of New York Times in Turkey, Orçun Çetinkaya said police officers who were on duty in airport had said Nordland was not permitted to enter the country due to “national security.”
The executive editor of The New York Times, Dan Baquet, said the incident was “unlawful” and against to freedom of press.
“The Turkish government’s action is an affront to freedom of the press and an effort to keep the world from having access to independent reporting from Turkey. Rod is a veteran correspondent who has done groundbreaking journalism from around the world. There was no justification for today’s action. The Times remains committed to covering Turkey fairly, accurately and fully,” Baquet said in a statement.
The New York Times drew attention to relations between the refusal to permit Nordland to enter the country and his columns about the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
A number of foreign journalists have been denied entry into the country over the past year.
On Jan. 2, the newspaper announced that it would withhold the identities of its reporters in the field in Turkey out of concerns for their safety amid greater pressure against journalists. The newspaper said it had previously employed similar measures only in Syria and Afghanistan.