Turkey reinstated press accreditation, says German journalist

Joerg Brase, Istanbul bureau chief for ZDF public television, says Ankara 'took back their rejection' of his press card.

    German journalists, Joerg Brase, left, and Thomas Seibert, had to leave Turkey on Sunday [AFP]
    German journalists, Joerg Brase, left, and Thomas Seibert, had to leave Turkey on Sunday [AFP]

    A German journalist who was recently refused a renewal of his press accreditation by Turkey said that he had received his work credentials after all, days after the German foreign minister had spoken out against the refusal.

    Joerg Brase, Istanbul bureau chief for ZDF public television, said on Twitter on Tuesday that Ankara "took back their rejection" of his press card for 2019 and that he would return to Istanbul soon.

    However, there was no immediate news from Thomas Seibert, who writes for Berlin newspaper Tagesspiegel, and who had also been denied credentials for unknown reasons.

    Both men were forced to leave Turkey on Sunday, a day after Germany's Foreign Minister Heiko Maas complained it was "unacceptable" that German correspondents could not do "their job freely" in Turkey.

    Another German journalist, Turkish-born NDR television correspondent Halil Gulbeyaz, also had his application rejected.

    'We will keep reporting'

    "The Turkish government has managed to more or less silence the national media. They are now trying to do it with international media. And we should not submit to that," Brase told ZDF before leaving Istanbul on Sunday.

    ZDF Director Thomas Bellut said Brase had reported from Turkey factually and knowledgeably, adding: "ZDF will continue to report about this important country extensively, impartially, factually and critically".

    Berlin-Ankara relations were badly strained following a failed 2016 coup in Turkey and the subsequent arrests and purges by Turkish authorities targeting tens of thousands of people, including Germans.

    However, ties improved after Turkey released German-Turkish journalist Deniz Yucel and others whom Berlin labelled political prisoners, while Ankara accused them of terrorism-related charges.

    Both sides are eager to avoid a severe deterioration in ties with Turkey's economy in crisis and Germany, home to three million people of Turkish origin, reliant on Ankara to help contain a Syrian migrant and refugee crisis beyond Europe's borders.

    SOURCE: News agencies