On November 16, 2022, Cypriot journalist Başaran Düzgün, chief editor for the Cyprus newspaper Havadis, was denied entry to Turkey, reports said.
Düzgün told CPJ via messaging app on November 21 that he had been stopped at customs at the Sabiha Gökçen Airport in Istanbul by the passport police, who told him that he was not allowed into Turkey. When he asked why, the journalist was told he had an “N82”code near his name on the records and asked to return to Cyprus, which he did. He had been traveling to Istanbul for a meeting with a Turkish news agency, the journalist added.
N82 is a restriction code used to block certain foreigners’ entry to Turkey for security reasons, Havadis reported.
Düzgün is a citizen of the Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus, which declared independence in 1976, three years after Turkey’s partial invasion of the island, but is not recognized by any other country besides Turkey.
“I was denied entry because I have been criticizing the works of the [Turkey’s ruling] Justice and Development Party in Cyprus,” Düzgün told CPJ, when asked why he thinks he was banned from entry. The journalist argued that Turkey’s government has been intervening in the domestic policies of Northern Cyprus, and his critical reporting on these matters led to his ban.
Düzgün said he tried to get information from the Turkish embassy in Northern Cyprus via his lawyer but did not receive any reply.
CPJ emailed Turkey’s Interior Ministry for comment but did not receive any reply.