Report: Turkey deports another Azerbaijani journalist

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.