Erdoğan blacklisted, Merkel complied
The scandal of the ban on the press by Turkish President Erdoğan's demand in the G20 Summit in Hamburg grows.
One of the 32 journalists whose accreditation for the G20 Summit was revoked on Erdoğan's demand, Björn Kietzmann said: "What I went through in the summit is an attempt to ban the profession of journalism."
Journalist blacklisted by the Erdoğan regime, Kietzmann talked about how he was removed from the press center of the summit.
32 of the journalists with validated accreditations had their accreditations revoked on the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's demand, which has Merkel's government in hot water. Journalists organizations and opposition parties demand a detailed explanation from the federal government led by Angela Merkel.
Reporters Without Borders spokesperson Michael Rediske said: "Distributing lists of journalists goes against the protection of personal rights act, and is a scandal," and FDP Deputy Chairperson Wolfgang Kubicki said: "The worst part is that the accreditations were revoked on intervention of the Turkish intelligence. The matter must be thoroughly explained."
JOURNALISTS REMOVED ON THE DAY OF ERDOĞAN'S ARRIVAL
State television ARD exposed the accreditation scandal and brought to light that the Hamburg police circulated a "blacklist" of banned journalists.
According to the German media, Erdoğan threatened Merkel that if the 32 journalists are allowed in, he will leave the summit. Then Merkel asked for the journalists to be removed from the premises so the incident would not grow.
The list was distributed among the police on Friday, the day the Turkish President Erdoğan arrived at the summit. The journalists on the list were treated like criminals by the German police and were hastily removed from the summit grounds.
"WASN'T ON ERDOĞAN'S AGENDA"
Björn Kietzmann whose accreditation was revoked on the Turkish delegation's demand spoke to the ANF about his experience. The German photo reporter said he submitted an application to follow the summit in June and was promptly approved, then continued:
"I worked in the summit without any problems from Wednesday to Friday. I left the summit grounds on Friday morning to cover the protests in the city center. By noon, I returned to the summit press center to work on the photographs I took. One of the police officers at the door saw me and said, 'Look, another one is coming'. They told me there was a problem and made me wait at the door.
Then a high ranking police officer from the Federal Criminal Bureau (BKA) told me my accreditation had been revoked. They told me I could inquire about the reason at the police station, but my calls to the police headquarters didn't achieve any results. Then I wanted to pick up my belongings in the press center, but I could only enter the building accompanied by the police to get them. I was hastily removed from the summit grounds after that."
German journalist Kietzmann said he hadn't planned to cover Erdoğan's program in the summit in any case and added: "I am on the list of annually accredited journalists, for example I followed British PM Theresa May's Berlin visit without a hitch. I had also covered Obama's Berlin visit in 2013. What I have experienced is an attempt to ban the profession of journalism.
HELD IN CUSTODY IN AMED FOR 31 HOURS
Björn Kietzmann has worked for Der Tagesspiegel, TAZ, Der Spiegel and Stern and was among the journalists who went to Kurdistan to follow the aid convoy from Berlin to Kobanê in October 2014.
The German journalist had visited Amed afterwards where he was detained by Turkish police during the Kobanê uprising. Kietzmann was held in custody for 31 hours on allegation of being a "member of foreign intelligence" and was later released with Germany's efforts.