Turkey's decision to deny a German journalist press accreditation is "intolerable and a violation of press freedom," German news magazine Der Spiegel said Thursday, decrying the move that forced it to pull reporter Hasnain Kazim out of the country.

Before his departure, Kazim told dpa that Turkish authorities had not given a reason for their refusal for the past three months.

"I have no choice but to leave this country," said Kazim, who had reported from Istanbul for the past two and a half years. "I was not allowed to continue reporting."

"It is likely to do with those in power being unhappy with Spiegel coverage," the 41-year-old journalist said.

Spiegel's Editor-in-Chief Florian Harms said Kazim's coverage of Turkey had been "fair, but critical."

Turkey has raised ire among press freedom advocates around the world in recent months after authorities took over several critical media outlets, including newspapers and television stations, and imposed restrictions on leftist media houses.

On Wednesday, Syrian journalist Kholoud Waleed was detained at the Istanbul airport and was at risk of deportation after returning from a trip to receive a journalism award in London, her newspaper Enab Baladi reported.

A journalist for Turkish daily newspaper Birgun was sentenced to 21 months in prison last week for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who insists that Turkey has the freest media in the world.

Kazim, who will now report from Vienna, was accompanied at the airport by a German diplomat amid fears that Turkish authorities would prevent him from leaving the country.

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