The head of ZDF’s Istanbul studio, Jörg Brase, has left Turkey after the country declined, without justification, to renew his media accreditation. He had been given ten days to leave the country, ending Sunday.
ZDF director Dr Thomas Bellut: “Jörg Brase’s expulsion is entirely incomprehensible in the light of his factual, competent reporting from Istanbul. This is an effort to intimidate media correspondents, but we will not let it faze us. Turkey is important to Germany, and we will continue reporting from and about the country in an impartial, fact-based and even critical manner.”
ZDF is preparing to file a suit in response to Turkey’s refusal to renew Jörg Brase’s media accreditation. The accreditation of other staff at ZDF’s Istanbul studio has been renewed, and they will therefore be able to continue working for ZDF in Turkey.
The Istanbul studio is responsible for reporting on Turkey, Iran and Afghanistan. For the time being, Jörg Brase will continue reporting on key events in Turkey, such as the local elections on 31 March 2019, from Germany or the ZDF studio in Tehran.
Thomas Seibert, a reporter for Tagesspiegel, and Halil Gülbeyaz, a NDR TV journalist, have also been expelled from the country.