Turkey closes Sky News Arabia office in Istanbul

UAE-based Sky News Arabia closes Turkey office after controversial report on S-400 missiles

Sky News Arabia has closed its office in Turkey for “administrative reasons”, its correspondent in the country said on Thursday

Sky News Arabia has closed its office in Turkey for “administrative reasons”, its correspondent in the country said on Thursday.

Mahran Issa wrote on Twitter that the closure of the Abu Dhabi-based channel’s office took effect at the beginning of this month and was due to “restructuring” of all Sky News Arabia’s external offices.

“Here I end nearly ten years as the only correspondent at the Turkey office, they were a wonderful ten years,” he added.

The closure of the office came after Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for the Turkish presidency, denied a Sky News Arabia report saying that Turkey would deploy the Russian S-400 missile defence system to the Incirlik air base in the south of the country.

Kalin said that the report was based on “rumours”, calling it “false news”.

The Incirlik base is used by NATO forces and Turkey’s acquisition of the Russian S-400 system has led to tensions with its NATO allies, particularly the United States, which has cancelled the sale of F-35 jets and sanctioned Turkey’s defence industries as a result.

Turkey has in recent years had a tense relationship with the United Arab Emirates, where Sky News Arabia is based, as well as Saudi Arabia.

However, there have been recent signs of rapprochement, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meeting UAE National Security Advisor Tahnoon bin Zayed in early September.

The Arabic news website Arabi 21 reported however that Saudi and Emirati websites were now no longer available in Turkey after being made accessible recently.

In April 2020, Turkey banned the Saudi and Emirati sites a few days after Saudi Arabia and the Emirates banned the websites of the Turkish TRT news channel and Anadolu news agency.

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