Int’l press organizations call on Turkish authorities to allow former Cumhuriyet editor’s wife to travel freely
ISTANBULTwo international press organizations have called on Turkish authorities to return the passport of Dilek Dündar, the wife of former daily Cumhuriyet editor-in-chief Can Dündar, after she was banned from traveling abroad on Sept. 3.
London-based PEN International said in a statement that the latest amendment to a decree law under the state of emergency in Turkey to confiscate passports “unnecessarily targeted the partners and spouses” of those who were under investigation.
“This amendment extends the already draconian measures passed in the name of Turkey’s state of emergency and unnecessarily targets partners and spouses of anyone under investigation. This gives unfettered powers to restrain the free movement not only of anyone the Turkish state chooses to consider under investigation, but also their families,” PEN International Executive Director Carles Torner said in a statement.
“It is truly a dark day for Turkey when committing a crime is no longer a prerequisite to being treated as a criminal. We call on the Turkish authorities to re-instate Dilek Dündar’s travel documents and allow her to travel freely,” Torner added.
Meanwhile, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also urged Turkey to allow Dündar’s free travel and return her passport.
“We call on Turkey to return Dilek Dündar’s passport and to allow her to travel freely,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said in a statement.
“Today’s actions against Dilek Dündar are clear retaliation for her husband’s journalistic work. Collectively punishing the Dündar family makes Turkish authorities appear petty, vindictive and lawless,” Ognianova added.
Police confiscated Dündar’s passport at Istanbul Atatürk Airport on Sept. 3 saying she could not fly to Germany on grounds that her passport was cancelled last month.
Can Dündar was sentenced by the court in May to five years and 10 months in prison for allegedly revealing state secrets in a story on Turkey’s intelligence agency. He was freed earlier this year pending an appeal following his trial.
He later stepped down from his post on Aug. 15 after taking a prolonged leave of absence.
Dündar was also honored with CPJ’s 2016 International Press Freedom Award.