Reporters Without Borders deplores journalist Necmettin Çapa’s summary expulsion yesterday by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (a de facto state recognized only by Turkey). A Turkish citizen of Kurdish origin who has lived in Northern Cyprus since 1991, Çapa was deported to Turkey together with his entire family.
The Turkish Cypriot police began by raiding Çapa’s home yesterday morning and threatening to deport his wife and their two children on their own if he did not immediately report to the police, Reporters Without Borders has been told. When Çapa went home, he and his entire family were arrested and taken to Turkish Cypriot police headquarters in North Nicosia.
They were then all put on a ship that reportedly left the port of Famagusta a few hours later bound for Turkey. The Turkish Cypriot authorities said he was deported because his work permit had expired a month ago.
“We are outraged by Çapa’s arrest and the methods used by the Turkish Cypriot authorities to deport him in such a summary and suspicious manner, especially as the reason given was an administrative matter that could have been resolved by issuing him with a summons,” Reporters Without Borders said.
Çapa, who has worked for years in Northern Cyprus for such publications as Afrika, Ortam and Yeniçağ, is being made to pay for the many articles he has written about the rights of the Kurdish population in Turkey and Cyprus.
The Turkish Cypriot authorities previously tried to deport him in 2004 but were prevented by the appeals that were filed. The police appeared to have acted yesterday because Çapa would have been unable to lodge any appeal as a result of the strikes that have paralyzed the judicial system for the past few days.
Reporters Without Borders calls on the Turkish Cypriot authorities to rescind Çapa’s deportation, which violated all established legal procedures. The Turkish Cypriot authorities should arrange and pay for him and his family to return if that is acceptable to him.