The Global Journalism Council (GJC) Thursday condemned an anti-Turkish Greek website for threatening and calling Turkish journalists from Anadolu Agency “spies.”
Anadolu Agency’s Athens Representative Tevfik Durul and photojournalist Ayhan Mehmet flew from the Greek capital Athens to Rhodes and reached the Meis Island by ship to cover recent developments there.
A Greece-based anti-Turkish website Turkikanea.gr published a provocative editorial a few hours after they arrived.
“Why do we allow Turkish spies of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT) to go to Meis? Why did we let them set foot on the island? Don’t we know what these MIT spies are trying to do? We hope the authorities will do what is necessary!” it said.
The website also published a photo of Durul’s passport identity page, a copy of which should only be kept by Greek authorities and not shared with anyone.
The board of directors of the GJC, in a written statement, “regretfully” condemned the “act of targeting press members.”
“The publication of the passports, photographs and other personal information of the AA Representative Durul, which is only required by the Greek authorities, is worrisome. The Greek authorities have yet to explain how the racist site was provided the passport identity page that AA correspondent Durul did not share anywhere during his Athens-Meis trip. It is understood that the personal information and photo of the AA reporter was given to this news website (which is clearly anti-Turkish) by the Greek authorities.”
The GJC also urged all international media professional organizations to decry the action of the Greek authorities and the website, “which endangers the lives of foreign press members in their countries and shows open targets.”
– Turkey’s reaction
Senol Kazanci, Anadolu Agency’s director-general, in a statement, said: “Targeting two journalists who went to the island to follow up on news is a heavy blow to press freedom.”
Condemning the provocative publication, Kazanci pointed out that journalists working for Anadolu Agency (AA), a global news agency, closely follow the agenda and breaking developments on Meis Island as in every corner of the world.
“Greek authorities should provide a safe working environment for AA journalists,” he said.
“We expect an explanation and an apology from the Athens administration for how the identity and passport information of our friends, which should only be in the hands of the Greek authorities, was leaked,” he added.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Communications Director Fahrettin Altun on Twitter said: “You will pay the price if those Turkish reporters come in harm’s way. Nobody can silence Anadolu Agency, whose staff work in the most hostile environments, through threats, intimidation or the publication of their personal information.”
“We condemn the Greek authorities’ efforts to incite violence, through a fascist website, against AA journalists in Meis. That Greek journalists work freely in Turkey, which the EU loves to lecture on press freedom, as Greece, an EU member, acts like a mafia state is worth noting,” Altun added.
According to recent media reports, the Greek authorities deployed military elements to the island of Meis. Turkey slammed the move, recalling that the island has had a demilitarized status since the 1947 Paris Peace Treaties.
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