Two press members denied access to event with Turkish first lady
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
CİHAN PhotoTwo members of the press from Turkey’s Cihan News Agency were banned accreditation for a meeting hosting Turkish first lady Emine Erdoğan on April 20 in Istanbul.
Security guards denied Cihan reporter Hüseyin Aydın and cameraman Mehmet Küçük access on the grounds they had not been invited to the event, which was co-hosted by Avea, a Turkish GSM company. In response, Akgün said the other members of the press following the program had likewise not been invited, adding the implementation was illegal.
However, security guards argued they acted in accordance with the instructions of the first lady’s security.
Several media outlets meanwhile reacted to the implementation, denouncing it as “a blow to press freedom.”
“The expulsion of Cihan reporter Hüseyin Aydın with a heavy hand is unacceptable. The programs a leader and his/her spouse attend are surely open to the general public and are transparent meetings. Banning journalists from following such non-exclusive meetings is to violate freedom of information. We condemn the interception of journalists on duty and we iterate that we are against the discrimination of the press,” read a statement by the Turkish Press Council.
In addition, Media Ethical Council head Halit Esendir denounced the incident as “shameful,” condemning the discrimination against journalists.
“The shame of accreditation, of which there have been many negative examples in the past, has been resurrected once again. The implementation that a commercial company patterned from the unfair accreditations by the government is shameful,” said Esendir.