Journalist leaves Turkey before forcible expulsion

AP News
Posted: Feb 07, 2014 9:07 AM

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish newspaper says authorities decided to expel one of its journalists — an Azerbaijani national — after he posted anti-government tweets.

Today's Zaman newspaper said Mahir Zeynalov left Turkey for Azerbaijan on Friday before the government took steps to enforce a deportation order. He was nevertheless escorted by police at the airport.

The decision comes at a time of heightened concerns over media freedoms in Turkey. This week, Parliament approved measures, not yet signed into law by the president, to tighten government controls over the Internet.

Leaving the Left
John Stossel

Editor-in-Chief Bulent Kenes said Zeynalov was under investigation for allegedly insulting officials in tweets critical of the government's handling of a police corruption probe.

The newspaper is affiliated with an Islamic movement which the government accuses of instigating the corruption probe.