The day I became a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists

I am sure if I asked you what you were doing on Sunday 17th April this year, most of you, unless it is your birthday would say you haven’t a clue. I, on the other hand could tell you exactly what I was doing. I have a written statement to prove it.

On Sunday 17th April 2011 in the early evening I spent 3 pointless hours at the Girne Police Station. Why? because Akfinans Bank Limited wanted it that way. I wasn’t alone though, Ipek Ozerim was kept there with me too, wasting three precious hours of a three day trip here to North Cyprus, three precious hours she could have spent with her parents. Ipek lives and works in London.

So why do I have a statement of my movements? Well having kept me there for three hours on the Sunday, the Girne Police decided my partner and I would have to return on the Monday, and bring our camera. We attended Girne Police Station on Monday morning but I took the precaution of typing up a statement for myself and one for my partner which we intended to sign in the presence of a police officer. We did not take the camera.

When we arrived at the Police Station I was told no one could see me. I was told we would have to come back. At this I told the duty officer, No. If you want us to come back you must telephone us. I even wrote our telephone number in the book on the desk.

You have guessed it – no telephone call was ever received. Do you think that constitutes police harassment? Read the statement, then make up your mind.

As soon as I arrived home that Sunday evening I joined the Chartered Institute of Journalists, CIOJ, because when the police learned Ipek was a columnist they said it was okay to take photos, journalists were allowed to.

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