After the press card delay came to public attention at the beginning of March, several foreign correspondents recieved written or oral confirmation that their press cards had been approved and would be issued soon (several of those did in fact recieve their card around 10 days later). However, three German journalists, Thomas Seibert, Jörg Brase and Halil Gülbeyaz, recieved notification that their cards had been denied. This was an unusual step in Turkey.
Seibert, a freelancer for the German daily Tagesspiegel, lived and worked since more than 20 years in Istanbul. Brase, who is staff correspondent for German TV ZDF, had arrived in Turkey the year before. Both had to leave the country on March 10th, as a valid press card is also needed for the renewal of the residence permit (ikamet). Gülbeyaz was at that time in Germany.
On March 2nd, FMA tweeted:
#FMA is shocked by Friday’s #rejections of the renewal of three press cards of international #journalists. Our colleagues @JorgBrase, @BosphorusNews and Halil Gülbeyaz work accordingly to #ethical #journalistic standards and…
[2/2] …there is no visible reason to revoke their
#presscard and thus work permit to report from and about #Turkey. FMA demands an explanation from the officials or the granting of their and all missing press cards.
Only two days after leaving the country, Jörg Brase recieved confirmation that the decision regarding his press card was reversed and that he would in fact get his card.
On March 12th, FMA tweeted:
We welcome the announcement by Turkey to grant a press card to
@JorgBrase of @ZDF,reversing earlier decision to reject it. We expect similar outcome for T. Seibert @BosphorusNews & H. Gülbeyaz, the other 2 German reporters rejected – and the issuing of press cards to all those waiting.