Greek journalist Evangelos Areteos has announced that he has been deported from Turkey on the grounds of “public order.”
In a written statement shared on his social media account, Areteos said that he flew from Brussels to Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport on Aug. 25 evening where he was interrogated by the police for seven hours.
Afterwards, he was sent back to Brussels on the 9.40 a.m. flight on Aug. 26.
“After 23 years during which I lived for eight years, traveled and worked in Turkey, the Turkish authorities have decided to deport me and ban me from returning back on the grounds of public order,” Areteos said.
The journalist said that his interrogation by the police at the airport has suggested that the main reason behind the deportation decision was “a visit to Turkey’s southeast, a trip to Syria’s north in 2015 and other trips to the remaining of Turkey.”
“Apart from these, (the reason is) my contacts with people considered as suspicious by the Turkish state and the photographs related to Kurdish activities in Syria’s north which I acquired through a WhatsApp group following up on the developments in the region. As every journalist, I have received such news reports and photographs,” he wrote.
“I have never kept my trips and meetings secret. After all, I was a journalist that have received accreditation and press card from the relevant Turkish agency.”
The journalist said that he will continue to cover Turkey even from a distance, with the hope that the deportation decision is reversed at one point.
There was no immediate comment from the Turkish authorities.