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Ankara bans entry to Sputnik's Turkey bureau chief

Turkey's authorities have banned entry to Tural Kerimov who heads the Turkish bureau of Russian news agency Sputnik, its website said on Wednesday.

The incident occurred at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport where the journalist spent around an hour at the arrivals screening point. Later, a member of the border control gave him a paper that says that he is "a passenger whose entry is prohibited in Turkey." "The paper doesn't contain any explanation," the agency quoted Kerimov as saying.

His press card and residence permit were also seized and he was asked to return to Russia on the next flight.

On April 14, Turkey's authorities blocked access to the Sputnik website. The country's telecommunications department said the website was shut based on law 5651 that limits citizens' access to information.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has condemned Turkey's move to block Sputnik news site saying this is another violation of fundamental human rights and freedoms, including the freedom of speech and the right for access to information. The ministry said the policy of increasing pressure of the Turkish authorities on mass media continues.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 20Apr16]

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