News   /   Turkey

Saudi Arabia detains two reporters of Turkish TV channel during FM's visit

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (R) meets Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in the holy city of Mecca on June 16, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Saudi Arabia has detained two reporters for Turkish TV channel TRT World for 10 hours during a visit by the Turkish foreign minister to the kingdom to help resolve the dispute between Qatar and several Arab countries.  

Saudi authorities detained Pakistani correspondent Hasan Abdullah and cameraman Nihat Yayman, who were covering Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu’s talks with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Mecca late on Friday. They were later released after Cavusoglu personally intervened with the Saudi king.

There has been no immediate indication of why the two were detained.

Abdullah said in a statement that the two "were detained from our hotel by Saudi police in Mecca after a live analysis" on the crisis with Qatar.

"The ordeal lasted nearly 10 hours during which we faced multiple interrogations and lock-up," he said.

The two TRT reporters are now heading back to Turkey.

Read more:

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Bahrain all cut off diplomatic ties with Qatar on June 5, after officially accusing Doha of “sponsoring terrorism.”

The administration of Saudi-backed and resigned Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, Libya, the Maldives, Djibouti, Senegal and the Comoros later joined the camp in ending diplomatic relations. Jordan downgraded its diplomatic ties as well.

Qatar slammed the decisions to cut off diplomatic ties as unjustified and based on false claims and assumptions.

Turkey, along with Kuwait, has been playing a mediating role to help resolve the crisis, with Cavusoglu and Kuwaiti Emir Sabah al-Ahmad al-Jaber Al Sabah traveling to the regional countries to discuss ways to de-escalate the tensions.

US President Donald Trump initially praised the Arab countries’ decisions to sever ties with Qatar, implying that it was the fruit of his first visit to the Middle East in late May.

During the visit, Trump signed the largest single arms deal in US history with Saudi Arabia to sell Riyadh $110 billion in arms.

A handout picture provided by the Saudi Royal Palace on May 21, 2017, shows Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz  Al Saud (C) and US President Donald Trump (C-L) attending a [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council meeting at the King Abdulaziz Conference Center in Riyadh. (Via AFP)

The US has sent a series of mixed messages on the dispute.

On Wednesday, Qatar’s Ministry of Defense said that the country had signed a $12 billion deal with the US to buy F-15 fighter jets from Washington.

The Qatari and US naval forces have also concluded a three-day joint military exercise in the Persian Gulf in the wake of Doha’s ongoing tensions with other Arab countries.

Read more:

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku