An Israeli journalist arrested in Turkey has been freed, following intervention by Israel’s Foreign Ministry.
Assaf Gibor, the Arab Affaris correspondent for the Mekor Rishon newspaper, had been arrested by Turkish intelligence services and accused of espionage, Channel 2 reports.
Gibor was arrested near Turkish-Syria border while conducting interviews for an upcoming article on the Syrian civil war.
“I arrived at the Syria-Turkey border at 3 a.m. I met with some fighters from the Free Syrian Army for an article on the five years of fighting in Syria,” Gibor told Channel 2.
“After a few minutes an army jeep pulled up and called on us to stop. We thought this was a routine check, but the [Turkish] army pulled us out of our vehicle, took my passport and brought me to a local army base.”
Despite Gibor’s credentials, the Turkish agents interrogated him at length, claiming he was working as a spy.
“I understood that they were compiling a large file on me, and I didn’t know how this would end.”
While being held at the Turkish military installation, Gibor was subjected to rough treatment, enduring lengthy interrogations and sleeping on cardboard boxes while handcuffed.
“I tried not to think negative thoughts, I tried to tell myself that this would end eventually, but the interrogations just went on and on. I was handcuffed in a room, I slept on cardboard. I just hoped someone would find me. When they returned my phone for a few minutes, I contacted my editor via Whatsapp and gave him my location.”