Turkey has allegedly expelled a Greek journalist who has been living in Turkey for close to eight years on “public order” grounds, according to his social media announcement.
On Monday, journalist Evangelos Areteos, a specialist in Turkey and regional affairs, announced that he was stopped by security officials at Istanbul’s airport Sabiha Gokcen, before being set for deportation.
“After twenty-three years, during which I lived, for eight years, and then traveled and worked in Turkey, the Turkish authorities decided to deport me and forbid me to return for reasons of ‘public order’,” said Areteos, who is also a non-resident research fellow at the Diplomatic Academy of the University of Nicosia, in Cyprus.
“Along with my professional life, which was inextricably linked with Turkey, all these years I also developed a personal, emotional relationship with the country. My children were born there, I gained very good and true friends, professional and personal ties with many people. For many years, once a month I was in Turkey for ten to fifteen days. Turkey became and still is a place where I truly felt at home.”
Born in Athens in 1971, Areteos studied law in France and Islamic Studies in Belgium. He is the author of a book about the time in the runup to the Gezi demonstrations in 2013 and the botched coup attempt against Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2016. He also co-authored the 2019 book “Turkey: The train of the great modernization.”
“The decision of the Turkish authorities is something I cannot understand, it is something that deeply saddens me and now makes me feel like an exile,” the journalist said.
“I will continue to cover Turkey and work with the same convictions even from a distance, in the hope that at some point the Turkish authorities will reverse their decision,” he said.