Baku Bars Turkish Journalists For Karabakh Interview

BAKU (Combined Sources)—A reporter working for the Turkish NTV television station was summed to the Azeri Foreign Ministry on Wednesday where he was stripped of his media accreditation in Azerbaijan, Azeri Foreign Ministry Spokesman Elkhan Polukhov told reporters at a press conference.

The journalist, Ramin Abdullayev, was notified that his employer NTV had also been barred from reporting in Azerbaijan.

The move came in response to an interview of Nagorno-Karabakh Foreign Minister Georgi Petrosian conducted on September 9 by NTV and the Turkish Milliyet newspaper. Baku has accused the television company’s reporters of illegally crossing into “occupied Azerbaijani territories” to conduct the interview.

“It was Azerbaijan’s response to the NTV journalists who illegally traveled to occupied Azerbaijani territories receiving accreditation in the so-called Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, which disappointed Azerbaijan,” Polukhov said.

The Azeri Foreign Ministry last Friday complained to the Turkish Embassy in Baku that the NTV journalist’s visit to Karabakh “disappointed Azerbaijan” and called for the Turkish Foreign Ministry to take measures to investigate and address the matter.

Despite the uproar in Azerbaijan in the wake of the controversy, the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic continues to grant visas to journalists from Turkey requesting credentials to visit and report in the republic, an official statement from the Karabakh Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

Turkish journalists continue to submit applications to the Karabakh authorities for entry into the republic to cover current events surrounding the Karabakh conflict and the Turkey-Armenia protocols, the statement said, citing Karabakh’s commitment to press freedoms and public discourse.

“The Nagorno Karabakh Republic is open to journalists, irrespective of the country they represent. The NKR authorities also proceed from the fact that an objective and detailed presentation of the situation in the republic to the world will only contribute to the peaceful settlement of the conflict with Azerbaijan and to the international recognition of the Nagorno Karabakh Republic,” the statement said.

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