Intellectuals protest arrests of journalists
Vercihan Ziflioğlu ISTANBUL
The protest was staged two days before the ‘Stand Up for Journalism Day’ on Nov. 6. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL
A group of Turkish intellectuals staged a protest rally led by the Freedom for Journalists Platform in Istanbul’s Galatasaray Square on Nov. 4 in the wake of the arrest of prominent publisher Ragıp Zarakolu and Professor Büşra Ersanlı on terrorism-related charges.
“Despite everything, we are going to keep writing, drawing and raising our voices obstinately. [Authorities] are trying to suppress all democrats,” Ali Nesin, a mathematician and the son of prominent Turkish writer Aziz Nesin, told the Hürriyet Daily News.
The group has already submitted a draft to Parliamentary Speaker Cemil Çiçek regarding a number of changes they would urgently like to see made to the anti-terror law before the completion of a new constitution, said Nazmi Bilgin, the current term president of the Freedom for Journalists Platform and the head of the Journalists Association, told the Daily News. “Among the changes we urgently request are the annulment of prison sentences for libel cases, putting an end to specially authorized courts and the amendment of the Anti-Terror Law.”
European journalists will
also be marking the struggle for the freedom of press and expression in Turkey with demonstrations.