Time for Turkish Prosecutions to End, Says EFJ President

Avrupa Gazeteciler  Federasyonu (EFJ) tarafından bir basın açıklaması geldi. İçişleri Bakanı’nın açıklamaları vahim olarak nitelendirildi. Metni tümüne buradan ulaşabilirsiniz…

Ayrıca: http://europe.ifj.org/en/pages/turkey-campaign-set-journalists-free

 

Independent journalism in Turkey cannot survive unless action is taken to halt the use of anti-terror laws to silence journalists. That’s the message from the President of the European Federation of Journalists after the latest trials of some of the dozens of journalists currently behind bars in Turkey.

After attending the trial in Istanbul on Monday (26 December) of ten journalists accused of terrorism charges, Arne König called for action to guarantee press freedom in the country: “Now is the time for these arrests and prosecutions to stop. It is as if Turkey has become a prison for journalists.

“There is currently no distinction being made between terrorism and journalism. The authorities must recognise that journalists have a right to their independence.

“The authorities seem to be applying such a wide blanket definition of terrorism that anybody who writes could find themselves under suspicion. That is not an environment in which the media will feel free to report independently or journalists feel able to do their jobs.”

The EFJ has described a recent speech by the Turkish Minister of Interior, İdris Naim Şahin, as “extremely worrying”. Speaking on 26 December 2011 in Ankara he said: “Terror is not only consisting of armed terrorist attacks. There is another dimension to this. There is psychological terror.” The minister went on to highlight a number of areas in which he believed support can be given to terrorism, including through art, poetry, journalism and academia.

Over 90 journalists are currently in jail awaiting trial, most of the time under the pretext of allegations of terrorist activities.

Ercan Iprekci, President of the Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikası (Journalists’ Union of Turkey),  and a member of the Steering Committee of the European Federation of Journalists, said: “We face a terrible situation in Turkey. We cannot talk about press freedom and freedom of expression. With the latest arrests, the number of journalists in jails has increased to 95.

“Under these circumstances, we worry about the statements made by members of Turkish government. They still deny the targeting of journalists and they still seek to apply terror laws to journalistic activities. The official statements made by ministers destroy our hopes of any intention to amend the Penal Code and Anti-terror Law.

“We call on the Turkish Parliament to realise the seriousness of the situation and take all necessary steps to change the laws. We are ready to make every contribution during the legislative process.”

Last month the EFJ led an international mission, in cooperation with other international press freedom groups, with the aim of showing support for the immediate release of all Turkish journalists who appear to have been jailed because of their work.

That mission took place in November to coincide with the trials of some of the journalists currently behind bars. Those cases were adjourned until 26 December, and the EFJ President was in Istanbul this week to witness the continuation of the trials.

Reports suggest that thousands of journalists are currently under investigation. Arne König commented: “The European Federation of Journalists will continue to show solidarity with our colleagues who are behind bars simply because they are doing their jobs as journalists. We have a duty to ensure that the world is aware of what is happening in Turkey.”

The EFJ is the European group of the International Federation of Journalists. 
The EFJ represents over 260,000 journalists in over 30 countries.

For more information , please contact the EFJ at +32 2 235.2225

 

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