The longstanding fight over media rights in Turkey intensified earlier this month after Ankara put Azerbaijani journalist Mahir Zeynalov, a reporter for the English-language daily Today’s Zaman, on a list of undesirables. The move, attributed by Zeynalov to his tweets about a government corruption investigation, came amidst a push for tough restrictions on Internet usage in Turkey, ranked by Reporters Without Borders among the world's worst offenders of press freedoms. (A claim the government denies.) Yet, given the close ties between Turkey and its Turkic cousin, Azerbaijan, the measure hit many outsiders as a surprise.
EurasiaNet.org spoke with Zeynallov in the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, where he is now living.
What stands behind your deportation? Is it the next step by [Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan’s government to silence the media?
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