RIGHTS > ‘Press freedom still a big problem in Turkey’

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The local papers in Samsun have signed a joint declaration to limit the articles to be published in the papers. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

The local papers in Samsun have signed a joint declaration to limit the articles to be published in the papers. DAILY NEWS photo, Emrah GÜREL

All 33 employees of a local newspaper in Turkey’s north have quit after the owner signed a protocol curbing the scope of news that would appear in the paper.

Journalists working at the “Hedef Halk” newspaper that publishes in the Black Sea province of Samsun said the paper’s owner, together with the owners of eight other local papers, signed a protocol which said the papers would no longer publish reports regarding blackmail, theft, murder, suicide, traffic accidents, rape and sexual abuse.

Hedef Halk employees said the protocol signed by the owner Sabahattin Poyrazoğlu constituted direct interference in the principle of press freedom and objected to its implementation. The paper’s entire staff, including Editor-in-Chief Yener Cabbar, resigned from the paper to show their discontent with the owner’s decision.

Criticizing abuse cases

Cabbar said he was a columnist on the paper’s third page, where the stories restricted by the protocol generally appear. “I would no longer be able to criticize rape and abuse cases or draw attention to them if the protocol is implemented,” he said.

Poyrazoğlu convened with the employees after the paper stopped publishing due to the resignations and agreed to withdraw his signature from the protocol.

The paper’s employees returned to work after Poyrazoğlu’s announcement and continued publishing news as usual.


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5/30/2012 3:41:01 PM

Foreigner, please read today's article of "Turkish columnist fired for criticizing PM". Regards

Turiddu Giuliano

5/27/2012 1:06:14 AM

During Fascism in Italy the press was forbidden to write about any criminal act that could tarnish the image of a happy and serene country. The same thing happened in the Soviet Union, a place without prostitution and criminals !!??..Foreigner pretends not to know this.

Foreigner .

5/26/2012 10:25:47 AM

I see nothing against press freedom. The paper owner wants to outline what his paper is about, and some disgruntled employeess that know of nothing to write other than about the ills of the society protest. Turkish media (TV series, news) are full of really sick stuff: torturous love stories, double-crosses, killings, rapes - all should be rated either R or 18 and above! I guess the owner had enough! But I think HDN already knows this, yet plays the story to their propaganda on press freedom.
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