The Malta Independent 21 August 2019, Wednesday

Updated: Turkish journalist's husband, baby not given visa to visit Malta, government explains

Wednesday, 13 March 2019, 14:49 Last update: about 6 months ago

Turkish journalist Pelin Ünker will be visiting Malta on her own after an application for a visa for her husband and baby were rejected by the Maltese authorities, a statement by the EPP group said.

Pelin Ünker was going to visit Malta at the invitation of Nationalist MEP David Casa this weekend together with her husband and baby, but she will now be travelling on her own.

Partit Nazzjonalista’s Head of Delegation in the European Parliament David Casa said: “This government had no difficulty in granting thousands of visas to Algerian and Libyan citizens, amidst serious allegations of wrongdoing and to hundreds of Turkish construction workers. It is with a journalist’s baby that they have taken issue. This is simply not on.”

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Currently, Ünker is waiting for the Turkish court to determine whether to uphold a 13-month prison sentence against her, for publishing facts from the Paradise Papers on relatives of politicians at the highest levels of power.

Addressing the European Parliament yesterday, David Casa made an appeal to the European Commission and the Council to urge the Turkish authorities to drop the charges against the journalist.

 

In a statement, the government said that David Casa’s allegations that the Maltese Government in any way discriminated against Turkish journalist Pelin Unker by not granting her a visa to travel to Malta are totally false.

"Unker was in fact granted a visa and can visit Malta for the activity she is scheduled to address."

Members of the family of Unker were not granted a visa given a previous decision which was already taken by another Schengen member state, whose authorities rejected similar applications by the same individuals, the statement read.

The application was treated in accordance with standard procedures, the government said.

 

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