Italian journalist denied access to Turkey

Italian journalist denied access to Turkey
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Giuseppe Acconcia who was invited to speak in an international workshop in Turkey has sent a video message to the workshop after he was deported upon his arrival in Izmir.

An Italian journalist and university lecturer, who was briefly detained upon his arrival in Turkey and deported, sent a video message to an international workshop that he had been invited as speaker.

Giuseppe Acconcia, lecturer of political sociology at the University of Padova, said in the message that he sent to the workshop of the International Aegean School of Human Rights:

"The purpose of today's meeting was to discuss the current forms of authoritarianism and forms of populist reactions that sometimes amount to fascism. However I was denied access through Izmir airport to Turkey by the Turkish authorities."

He continued:

"It is regrettable that Turkish authorities reject rights to travel and free expression for those who criticize their stance on the Kurdish question (...) We had been unfairly deported back in 2015 after we had reported on the struggle waged by Kurds in Rojava against the jihadist militia of the ISIS [Islamic State]. We were working as a group of reporters, and were arrested on the border. We had been deported after we were kept in custody for a few days. Turkish authorities had told us then that the decision would be reversed in a couple of years. However, it seems the decision still stands after seven years."

He added:

"Turkish authorities apparently do not want the developments in the region to be covered. We are aware of Turkish administration's insistence to establish a buffer zone to hinder the existence of Rojava, of its attacks targeting the cantons of Kobani and Afrin. We are aware how its attacks in Northern Syria, Iraq and Turkish Kurdistan have been ramped up after the Ukrainian war (...) These attacks have been part of the policies that aim to obstruct the political activism of Kurds, particularly of the HDP [Peoples' Democratic Party] in Turkey. That is how the Turkish authorities responded to the Kurdish question in the last couple of years."