Turkey arrests, deports BBC journalist to Kurdistan
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – BBC journalist Jiyar Gol was detained and interrogated in Istanbul Airport on Thursday before being deported to the Kurdistan Region.
After his flight from Kurdistan Region landed in Istanbul on Thursday night, he was detained and interrogated for five hours and was later deported to Kurdistan Region.
“When I arrived at the Istanbul Airport, an officer checked my name in the system. Then, a policeman came to me and told me that I had been banned from entering Turkey,” Gol told Kurdistan24.
“I was detained for five hours, they checked my mobile and then deported me to the Kurdistan Region,” he added.
Born and raised in the Kurdish city of Sanandaj (Sina), Kurdistan Province, northwestern Iran, Gol was educated in Canada and works as a correspondent for Persian and English BBC in Istanbul.
Gol has produced innumerable reports for BBC over the years, many of whom on Kurds, but the ones made about the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and People’s Protection Units (YPG) are thought to have enraged Turkey which labels both groups "terrorists."
I have only done what my job requires from me, Gol said. Turkey is suspicious "of anyone who goes to Rojava [Syrian Kurdistan], Qandil Mountain, or writes on the PKK and PYD [Democratic Union Party],” Gol explained.
He emphasized that Kurdistan Region shows a greater tolerance towards criticism compared to other countries in the region.
“It is true that we cannot say free media in the Kurdistan Region is like Europe, but it is much better here than in the neighboring countries,” he stated.
The Kurdish journalist is expected to fly to the UK from Erbil International Airport (EIA) by the end of this week.
Editing by Ava Homa