Turkish police have detained two Russian journalists for "illegally" filming near Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar's facility in Istanbul.
Russian TV channel NTV said on Dec. 4 that journalists Alexei Petrushko and his cameraman Ivan Malychkin “informed the editorial staff that they had been detained by police in Istanbul." Both work for the program Tsentralnoïe televidenie, which positions itself as a weekly news show.
The journalists have not answered the phone or messages since then, according to the statement.
Istanbul Governor's Office released a statement on the issue, saying that the journalists, as well as a Turkish national, were detained on Dec. 3 for filming the facility without obtaining permission.
It also said that an investigation was ongoing and that their detentions were extended for three days by the Chief Public Prosecutor's Office.
Baykar’s unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) have been used in recent conflicts such as in Libya, Syria and Nagorno-Karabakh. In several instances, Bayraktar TB 2 drones armed with Turkish-made air-to-ground missiles have destroyed Russian ground assets such as tanks, armored vehicles and the Pantsir-S air defense system.
The Russian embassy in Turkey said it was in contact with the Turkish authorities to clarify the situation.
“We are counting on operational cooperation” on the Turkish side, the embassy said in a statement.
The arrest comes at a time when Turkey, a staunch supporter of Azerbaijan, announced this week an agreement with Russia on the establishment of a joint observation centre to monitor the ceasefire in Nagorno-Karabakh.