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Turkish journalist seeks refuge in Sweden

Published måndag 5 december 2016 kl 13.16
Abdullah Bozkurt: It became impossible to do my job
(4:36 min)
The journalist Abdullah Bozkurt is concerned about the developments in Turkey.
The journalist Abdullah Bozkurt is concerned about the developments in Turkey. Credit: Ola Samzelius/P1-Morgon.

One of those who have come to Sweden from Turkey to apply for asylum is the Turkish journalist Abdullah Bozkurt.

Bozkurt left Turkey because of the crackdown on media outlets in the country after the failed coup this summer, and because he fears he would be jailed if he stayed.

"The government has shut down close to 2,000 media outlets from across the political spectrum, from the left to the right, so it became almost impossible to do my job, and so many of my colleagues have ended up in jail," he tells Radio Sweden.

He first came to Sweden on a visa this summer, thinking that he would stay here until the worst had blown over. The original plan was that the family would remain in Turkey, and that his wife and kids would continue with their lives there as normal. But then family members of other journalists were arrested, so they decided he would apply for asylum and that the family would join him here in Sweden.

Turkey has widely been criticised for its treatment of journalists after the attempted coup. In November, the board of Utgivarna, an association for Sweden's media companies, urged the Swedish government to do more for press freedom and independent media in Turkey. In an opinion piece in the daily Aftonbladet, they said that "Turkey is today the world's biggest prison for journalists".

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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