Every foreign journalist needs a press card in order to work in Turkey. This card is issued by the Directorate of Communication, a governmental body, and is usually granted for one year, with renewal in December.
For the first time, in December 2018, there was a massive delay of the cards. Many correspondents got their card in January, but many others didn’t get and recieved no notice. After two months waiting, this issue came to public attention on February 28th, 2019, when several journalists were barred from entering a press conference in Istanbul, offered by Vice-President of the European Commission, Jyrki Katainen, and the Finance Minister of Turkey, Berat Albayrak, on the ground that their press cards were expired.
The issue was raised during that press conference by FMA members. Katainen underlined the importance of press freedom for democracy, whereas Albayrak observed that those who had recieved the card were free to work without hindrance.
On March 1st, 2019 FMA tweeted: