ANKARA – A Greek journalist who lived in Turkey for eight years is being expelled in the interest of “public order,” no explanation what that means, with Turkey jailing Turkish journalists critical of the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The reporter, Evangelos Areteos, posted on social media that he was being ejected after being stopped by security officials at Istanbul’s airport Sabiha Gokcen, before being set for deportation.
“After twenty-three years, during which I lived, for eight years, and then traveled and worked in Turkey, the Turkish authorities decided to deport me and forbid me to return for reasons of ‘public order’,” he said.
He is also a non-resident research fellow at the Diplomatic Academy of the University of Nicosia, in Cyprus, said Kathimerini, adding it wasn’t clear when the incident happened or the real reason he was being kicked out of Turkey.
But Areteos gave some apparent clues when he said that his questioning by security officials there suggested to him it was because of his travels in southeast Turkey and other parts of the country, as well as a trip to northern Syria in 2015.
Born in Athens in 1971, Areteos studied law in France and Islamic Studies in Belgium as well.
He is the author of a book about the period leading up to demonstrations in 2013 and the failed attempt to overthrow Erdogan in July, 2016, in which the President narrowly missed an assassination try. He also co-authored the 2019 book Turkey: The Train of the Great Modernization.
“The decision of the Turkish authorities is something I cannot understand, it is something that deeply saddens me and now makes me feel like an exile,” the journalist said, noted Kathimerini.
“I will continue to cover Turkey and work with the same convictions even from a distance, in the hope that at some point the Turkish authorities will reverse their decision,” he said. There was no initial comment from the Turkish authorities.