POLITICS > 64 journalists under arrest, Turkish main opposition announces

Nisan Su Aras ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News

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CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu referred to the Turkey Journalists’ Labor Union’s (TGS) July 22 assessment that 59 journalists had been removed from post for their news reports on the Gezi Park unrest. DHA photo

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu referred to the Turkey Journalists’ Labor Union’s (TGS) July 22 assessment that 59 journalists had been removed from post for their news reports on the Gezi Park unrest. DHA photo

There are 64 journalists under arrest and another 123 are facing trial on charges of terrorism, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) has announced, with the party’s leader underlining that Turkey ranks 154th out of 179 countries in media freedom.

CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu released the outcome of the party’s research into all journalists that have been facing prosecution, presenting the “Report on Imprisoned Journalists” today at a press conference at the party’s headquarters.

Kılıçdaroğlu also referred to the Turkey Journalists’ Labor Union’s (TGS) July 22 assessment that 59 journalists had been removed from post for their news reports on the Gezi Park unrest.

“We are experiencing a process in which the government and the police audits together, [in which] the media bosses are under the rule of political authority and publish the news that the political authority accepts,” he said, adding that those in power, as well as media bosses, were also instituting censorship or driving journalists to engage in self-censorship. “We have gone 105 years back in time.”

Even during the aftermath of the Sept. 12, 1980, coup, only 31 journalists were arrested, Kılıçdaroğlu said, calling the government’s current attitude on the matter a “police state mentality.”

“Mr. Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip Erdoğan] has turned the country into a half-open penitentiary and made it impossible to live for journalists,” Kılıçdaroğlu said, while noting the approach of Journalism Day, which is marked on July 24 in Turkey.

“Journalism is a public duty. Only in a country in which a journalist can work freely can we talk about democracy,” he said. “I call out to media bosses: Leave the kitchen of the newspaper alone, when you apply censorship on them, when you lay them off from work, someday we will bring you to account,” Kılıçdaroğlu said.

The CHP took up the matter following a joint press conference between Erdoğan and visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in February in which the former responded to a German correspondent’s question about arrested journalists by saying: “The number of arrested journalists is not more than the number of fingers on one’s hand. Those journalists were not arrested for their journalism.”

CHP deputies Veli Ağbaba, Özgür Özel and Nurettin Demir, who conducted the survey, also attended today’s press conference.


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Notice on comments

Çılgın Kanarya

7/26/2013 4:01:27 AM

MARA, exactly! It really is as simple as that, which makes it all the more galling that Strömungs doesn't get it! If the police let the protesters enter the public park, as is their right, they will peacefully protest & then go home later on, without the need for anyone to inhale tear gas or get blasted with pressurized water! Nobody is going to camp there overnight anymore, because the diggers are not currently trying to destroy the park! If someone brings a tent, then just don't let him in!

Çılgın Kanarya

7/25/2013 6:02:39 PM

STRÖMUNGS, ha ha, I asked you to offer evidence of these beatings of "religious Muslims", & basically your response is to say that I know which incident you mean & I should search for it via Google? You'd make a great prosecutor Strömungs .. NOT! Is everything written on the internet 100% true? Where is the video / photographic evidence? Who witnessed it? As for barricades, well if the police don't attack peaceful marches, then no barricades would be necessary. Sooooo simple, just like you.

mara mcglothin

7/25/2013 5:48:07 PM

STROMUNGS I won't be visiting or investing in a dictatorship and many of the most educated bright young minds will simply leave the country. Is that what you want???? For Turkey to go back to the dark ages???? True democracy must be freedom for all, including those evil Kemalists and army supporters. CILGIN This would have all been moot point had the protestors been allowed to continue peacefully, or am I wrong?

strömungs maschine

7/25/2013 11:34:05 AM

@ Çılgın Kanarya , I know you will not stop spreading insults / lies etc but it is useless.. We, who are admired of democracy, determinedly undermine your obsolete Kemalist regime to create a democratic one.. It is about to be too late for vandals/dictator and army lovers, I strongly advice to keep in touch with GasPutin & Bassar Al-Assad to fall back on in due course..

Çılgın Kanarya

7/25/2013 2:19:53 AM

Thanks MARA & TEKION PARTICLE. I hope you have better luck in talking some sense into Strömungs than me, lol. He goes very quiet when asked to offer evidence of his lies, such as the protesters attacking "religious Muslims". If Tayyip told him the Chapullers were responsible for the 2004 Pacific Tsunami, he would accuse us of that too! I used to think that Dutch Turk was hard work until this Strömungs guy came on the scene, lol. He makes Dutch Turk look well informed & rational by comparison.

strömungs maschine

7/25/2013 12:19:45 AM

@ mara mcglothin, " go off rails " ?? People will assess it in elections.. What would you do, if majority vote for him again ?

strömungs maschine

7/25/2013 12:13:40 AM

@ Çılgın Kanarya , you know the event I am talking about. Open Google, write keywords and find evidences as much as yourself.. If you establish crush barriers in the mid of roads, you can taste TOMA's water, tear gas, plastic ballet everywhere in the world.. @ Tekion Particle , existing Turkey is more democratic than what you desire/envisage ..

Tekion Particle

7/24/2013 7:15:36 PM

Talking to STROMUNGS is like talking to a blind man using sign language. I certainly do not see the point of anyone trying to put their points across to him. He does not get it because he does not want to, he is not unique though people like him exist in every society. Thankfully, in the democratic countries they are a minority.

Çılgın Kanarya

7/24/2013 6:11:35 PM

By the way STRÖMUNGS, I notice you haven't offered any evidence to support your claim of protesters beating up "religious Muslims". It's easy to come on here spouting unmitigated lies, without even a speck of evidence. Who do you think you are ... Recep Tayyip Erdoǧan? As for standing behind barricades ... you call that violent behaviour? When the police are using TOMA's against people having a peaceful sit-in, I would say barricades are a legitimate form of blocking the vehicle's way.

Çılgın Kanarya

7/24/2013 6:02:40 PM

STRÖMUNGS, At the height of the protests, Amnesty International observed that ... "It is clear that the use of force by police is being driven not by the need to respond to violence - of which there has been very little on the part of protesters - but by a desire to prevent and discourage protest of any kind". So if I am lying, then so is a very well respected human rights organization! Now why would they be lying? Are they also the interest lobby? You are a Fascist who adores police violence.
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