Dutch journalist deported from Turkey
Xeber24.net – Ahval
Turkey deported Dutch journalist Ans Boersma on Thursday morning for unknown reasons, according to several reports.
“And then suddenly you are in the plane back to the Netherlands,” Boersma,
Turkey correspondent for the Dutch news outlet Het Financieele Dagblad (FD), tweeted just after midnight Thursday morning. “Unwanted person declared in Turkey. #pressfreedom #freeturkeymedia”
On Wednesday, when Boersma reported to immigration services for an extension of her residence permit, police told her she was being expelled from the country for safety-related reasons, according to FD. She had been working in Turkey since 2017 and had just received her 2019 Turkish press card last week.
“Ans did her work sensibly and responsibly,” FD chief editor Jan Bonjer said. “This measure is a flagrant violation of press freedom. It is extremely sad that journalists in Turkey cannot do their work undisturbed.”
Istanbul-based German journalist Christian Fieland said Boersma would not be returning to Turkey for at least 6 years. “Apparently Ans can’t come to #Turkey for 6 years and her press card has been revoked,” he tweeted .
Ragip Soylu, former correspondent for pro-government Daily Sabah, said the deportation was unrelated to her work. “A Turkish official asserts that Dutch journalist Ans Boersma’s deportation wasn’t related to her journalistic activities or her reporting from Turkey,” Soylu tweeted . “‘To the best of my knowledge, our office had recently approved her press credentials for 2019,’ the official said.”
Turkey ranks 157th out of 180 countries on Reporters Sans Frontiere’s 2018 press freedom index. Ankara is currently holding more than 160 journalists in detention, according to P24, a platform that promotes editorial independence in Turkey.
In recent years, Turkey has deported more than a dozen foreign journalists, from the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, and other western countries. Last month, Turkey released Austrian journalist Max Zirngast after three months in prison, and allowed him to return home.