A number of European journalists were shut out of a meeting on Thursday between Turkish and EU officials, the Diken news website reported.
The journalists were kept out of the third High Level Economic Dialogue in İstanbul, co-chaired by Turkish Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak and Vice President of the European Commission Jyrki Katainen.
The exclusion of the journalists led to a verbal exchange between Albayrak and Katainen, who objected to the situation.
“I am not fully aware of the details, but press freedom is a fundamental right around the world,” Katainen said, asking Turkish officials to rectify the situation.
In response, Albayrak claimed it was a matter of renewal of press accreditation, which is subject to relevant regulations.
“I guess the credentials of some members of the press were not renewed. Maybe they will be next year, or maybe they won’t,” Albayrak said. “It’s all about the applicable regulations. The issue should be considered from this perspective.”
Albayrak further claimed that same thing happens in Europe and the US as well.
Foreign journalists based in Turkey have recently been having difficulty renewing their press cards.
Journalists and reporters from Süddetusche Zeitung, ZDF, Tagesspiegel and ARD Radio were among those who were unable to cover today’s meeting because they have not yet received their new press cards even though they had lodged their applications on time.