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Turkey deports German photojournalist who was going to cover Armenian Genocide article

Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine’s photojournalist was barred from entering into Turkey and deported on the alleged suspicion of being jihadist last week although German officials informed Turkish authorities about the situation of journalist, an online news portal reported, according to Today’s Zaman.

According to an article published on the news portal, citing Der Spiegel’s report over the incident, photojournalist Andy Spyra sent back to Germany after being held İstanbul Atatürk Airport’s detention center over a night.

Spyra reportedly took a Turkish Airlines plane from Germany’s Dusseldorf en route to İstanbul on March 28 to cover an article about the 100th anniversary of alleged “Armenian genocide.” When he landed in İstanbul around 5.20 p.m. four civilians took him to a special security area and told him to open his luggage. Police officers searched the camera cleaning kit that, the journalist said, looks like a little rocket but obviously to be a kit, looked at the photos inside of camera’s memory card and also looked at his photos with peshmarga taken his Iraq visit on his mobile phone. “They looked at these photos taken with military vest. Their face were looking so serious,” he said.

Spyra reportedly tried to tell that he is a journalist and showed the hotel reservation; however, couldn’t make police to listen him. The journalist told that he would be sent to Dusseldorf next morning and taken to Atatürk Airport deportation center.

While he was detention center, officials returned German photojournalist’s mobile phone back and he called his colleague who had been in Turkey and his editors in Germany. Journalist’s friend and editors let German Consulate General in İstanbul and German Embassy in Ankara over the situation. He was taken to Dusseldorf plane on 9.55 a.m. next morning and welcomed by Federal police in the airport.

“Turkish authorities told their German colleagues that I am believed to be jihadist due to khaki colored clothes and ‘military equipment’… However, we later learned that the night that I was in the airport, German Consulate General informed Turkish authorities that I am a journalist and made a formal protest.’”

Last year, Der Spiegel magazine withdraw its Turkey reporter Hasnain Kazim after he received death threats over reports covering the deadly disaster at the Soma coal mine that killed 301 miners. Kazim reportedly received over 10,000 threats via e-mail, Facebook and Twitter, one of them even threatening to “cut his throat if seen on the street.”

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