Home Page
27 Jul 16

Kosovo Snubs Turkish Demand to Punish Journalist

Kosovo's officials have rejected a demand from the Turkish embassy for Kosovo to punish a journalist for making satirical comments on Facebook about the failed coup.

Ervin Qafmolla BIRN Pristina
Kosovo chief prosecutor Aleksander Lumezi dismissed the posibility of criminal charges aganist the journalist. Photo: BIRN

Top Kosovo officials have snubbed a call by the Turkish embassy for Kosovo to punish a local journalist over his comments about the failed Turkish coup.

The embassy on July 20 urged Kosovo to take action against Berat Buzhala, a leading journalist, for satirical comments he made on Facebook as the botched coup was taking place.

Foreign Minister Enver Hoxhaj along with Chief Prosecutor Aleksander Lumezi said the embassy’s claims were unsustained.

Hoxhaj told Radio Free Europe that the call from the Turkish embassy was “unusual, inacceptable and at the same time an overreaction.

“Our position is that neither the government of the Republic of Kosovo, nor anyone else, can interfere in judicial matters. We are a democratic country,” Hoxhaj was quoted as saying.

Chief Prosecutor Lumezi said the prosecution would only act if elements of a criminal act were substantiated.

“But as I see it, there are no elements of a criminal act, and it is not for the State Prosecution to deal with problems that have emerged between a journalist and the Turkish embassy in Kosovo,” Lumezi said, after a meeting with the Minister of Justice.

The meeting was unrelated to the case and concerned matters related to corruption, organised crime and terrorism.

As the failed coup unfolded, on July 15, Berat Buzhala, a journalist known for his satirical comments, wrote on Facebook: "I invite citizens of the Republic of Kosovo who are on holiday in Turkey to align with the army."

The comment was signed with an Internet emoticon, with a tongue protruding, indicating the comment was not to be taken seriously. "This is the most serious coup since the arrival of Facebook," Buzhala added.

Turkey is a major supporter of Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008. Its companies run the only airport, own the electricity distribution company and are building two highways worth around $2 billion.

Buzhala has over 40,000 Facebook followers. His news portal gazetaexpress.com, which is ranked among the biggest media outlets in Kosovo, with around one million readers per day, has slated Kosovars who have gone to fight for Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

The Kosovo Association of Journalists also condemned the demand of the Turkish embassy, calling it a grave violation of norms.

“We seek an apology from the Turkish embassy for this scandalous act as soon as possible, and also request that the Turkish ambassador, Kivilcim Kilic, leaves Kosovo,” the journalists' union said.

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

News

frozen-turkish-funding-leaves-bulgarian-imams-without-pay-08-10-2017
11 Aug 17

Frozen Turkish Funding Leaves Bulgarian Imams Without Pay

Bulgaria’s around 600 imams have been left without money for salaries since the country allegedly cancelled a funding agreement for Islamic education with Turkey, Bulgarian Grand Mufti’s Office says.

turkish-president-erdogan-to-visit-serbia-08-08-2017
09 Aug 17

Turkish President Erdogan to Visit Serbia

Gas pipeline and infrastructure projects could be discussed when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visits Serbia in September - but also issues that could be more difficult for Belgrade.

balkan-states-need-more-resources-to-fight-terror-report-warns-07-20-2017
20 Jul 17

US Report: Balkans Need Resources to Fight Terror

US State Department report say that while most Balkan states cooperate well with international partners to improve counterterrorism policies, they still have problems in terms of cooperation between institutions and in terms of limited resources. 

turkey-stays-top-of-albanian-holiday-destination-list-07-02-2017
03 Jul 17

Turkey Stays Top of Albanian Holiday Destination List

Albanians are continuing with their decade-long habit of holidaying in Turkey, though the Greek islands have started to become popular as well.

bulgaria-s-borissov-vows-to-normalise-the-eu-turkey-relations-06-13-2017
13 Jun 17

Bulgaria PM Vows to ‘Normalise’ EU-Turkey Relations

On a visit to Ankara, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov pledged to normalise the troubled relations between the EU and Turkey during the country’s EU presidency in 2018.

world-and-balkans-brace-for-erdogan-s-us-visit-05-16-2017
16 May 17

World Braces for Erdogan's US Visit

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s USA visit is expected to determine Turkish relations with key global and regional powers.

turkey-s-referendum-erdogan-declares-victory-opposition-disputes-results-04-16-2017
17 Apr 17

Erdogan Hails Victory in Turkish Referendum

Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has declared victory in a controversial referendum on granting him additional powers, but the opposition said it would challenge the unconfirmed result.

historic-referendum-will-shape-turkey-s-future-04-15-2017
16 Apr 17

Historic Referendum Will Shape Turkey’s Future

Turks go to the polls in a crucial referendum on Sunday, which will determine whether their already powerful President will become a virtual dictator or not.

nationalists-block-bulgaria-s-border-checkpoints-with-turkey-03-21-2017
21 Mar 17

Nationalists Block Bulgaria’s Border Checkpoints with Turkey

The nationalist United Patriots coalition blocked key checkpoints at the Bulgarian-Turkish border to prevent what it called ‘electoral tourism’ by Bulgarian Turks loyal to Ankara ahead of Sunday’s polls.

expert-downplays-turkish-threat-to-unleash-refuge-flood-03-17-2017
17 Mar 17

Turkish Threat to Scrap EU Refugee Deal Questioned

Minister’s threat to scrap readmission deal with EU and send thousands of refugees there each month deemed a ‘War of Words’.