Turkey deports head of Pontian federation

Turkish authorities deported on Friday the head of the Pan-Pontian Federation of Greece, George Varythymiadis, who had travelled to the country to attend a special service at the Sumela Monastery in Trabzon on Saturday.

The federation had announced earlier that Varythymiadis had been detained in the transit area of Istanbul’s international airport and not allowed to enter Turkey. Other members of the group Varythimiadis was travelling with, including the president of the Athens Journalists’ Union (ESIEA), Maria Antoniadou, were allowed to continue on their journey, the federation said.

Greece’s Foreign Ministry issued a verbal and then a written démarche to Ankara, protesting the “abusive detention and deportation order” against him.