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German photographer thrown out of Turkey: newspaper

Germany’s newspaper Bild said that one of its photographers had been thrown out of Turkey

Published: Updated:

Germany’s top-selling newspaper Bild said Sunday that one of its photographers had been thrown out of Turkey shortly after a visit by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Bild said Giorgios Moutafis, who is Greek, was stopped at Istanbul airport on Saturday on his way to Libya and sent back to Athens on the first flight on Sunday.

The newspaper quoted Moutafis in its online edition saying he was told his name appeared on a list of people banned from entering Turkey, but was not told why.

The incident comes days after another German journalist working for the ARD public television channel was turned away at Istanbul airport as he arrived hoping to travel to the Syrian border.

Shortly before Moutafis was stopped, Merkel left Turkey after a visit to a refugee camp aimed at bolstering a a six-billion-euro ($6.7 billion) deal to return migrants arriving on Greek shores.

The visit with senior EU officials was watching closely by some in Europe to see if the delegation would take a stand against the deteriorating rights situation in Turkey, where the government has been accused of cracking down on political dissent.

Merkel said Saturday after talks with Turkish Prime Ministger Ahmet Davutoglu that they had “talked frankly” about the issue.

“We have always underlined... that values like freedom of the press of freedom of expression are for us inalienable.”

The German leader has been under fire at home for authorising criminal proceedings against a TV comedian for insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.