European Federation of Journalists

German photojournalist deported from Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and its affiliates in Germany (Deutscher Journalisten-Verband – DJV and Deutsche Journalistinnen- und Journalisten-Union – dju in ver.di) have today condemned the Turkish authorities for deporting the German photojournalist, Andy Spyra, who was covering the anniversary of the Armenian genocide for Der Spiegel on 29 March.

Spyra was stopped and searched by the Turkish authorities on 28 March when he arrived at the Istanbul airport. The authorities accused him of carrying “military-style equipment” and deported him the next day following an overnight detention. He explained in his recent Facebook post that “the military equipment in question” was in fact his camera dust-blower, army-style boots and khaki-coloured clothing.

Spyra believed that his deportation is linked to his reporting on the100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide which is a sensitive topic in Turkey.

“Turkey needs to stop abusing its anti-terror law for the purpose of censorship,” said Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ President.

“It is shocking that Turkey, as a candidate country to the EU, is barring foreign journalists from entering the country and locking up local journalists because of their critical voices.”

Federike Geerdink, a Dutch journalist reporting in Turkey was on trial yesterday for violating the anti-terror law by conducting propaganda for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). To date, 23 journalists are still in prison for alleged violation of the anti-terror law in Turkey. The EFJ, the IFJ and its affiliate in Turkey, the Turkish Journalists’ Union (TGS) continue to campaign for their freedom.

Photo : Agos