Int’l editors urge for ensuring press freedom in Turkey in letter to Erdoğan
Supporters of Gülen movement shout slogans during a protest outside the Kanaltürk and Bugün TV building in Istanbul, Turkey, October 28, 2015. Reuters Photo
A group of international editors and news publishers have penned an open letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 30 on the eve of the Nov. 1 general elections voicing concerns over the retrogressive state of press freedom in the country.
The letter, signed by more than 50 members of World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), World Editors Forum (WEF), International Press Institute (IPI) and International PEN, listed the recent attacks targeting journalists and media outlets in Turkey including the attack on daily Hürriyet HQ, the assault of Hürriyet columnist Ahmet Hakan, the seizure of Gülen-linked Koza İpek Company and the detention of VICE News journalists.
The international editors also pointed to the rising “culture of impunity” in the country hindering journalists from doing their work and the government’s setback on condemning the attacks targeting journalists.
“As editors, we are dismayed to see individual journalists, along with publications and media groups targeted in this way. We are increasingly concerned at the impact on reporting events in Turkey fully and accurately, both at home and abroad. We urge you to foster a culture where press freedom is fully respected,” the letter concluded.