EFJ, ETUC, NUJ on Turkey / “Pressures, Violence Against Journalists is A Deep Concern”

BIANET 24.6.2013 – EFJ, ETUC and NUJ condemned the police violence and pressures on reporters who are covering Gezi Resistance in Turkey. The NUJ has written to David Cameron urging him to contact Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and stress the need to respect the right of journalists to freedom of expression guaranteed by European and International law.

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has condemned the continuous targeting of journalists and media organisations following the police raid on the residences of journalists working for the daily newspaper Atilim, Özgür Radio and Etkin News Agency on Tuesday 18 June.

EJF and NUJ reminded a statement by Turkish Journalists Union (TGS), saying that the police raided the residences of Sedat Senoglu, general editorial coordinator of the daily Atilim, Selvi Cosar of Özgür Radio and the news editor of Etkin news agency, Derya Okatan.

“Following the raids, Sedat Senoglu and Selvi Cosar were taken into custody for questioning. Meanwhile, IMC TV news editor Gökhan Biçici and Ulusal Channel cameraman Emer Fidan who had been arrested were released on Tuesday and it was reported they were beaten by the police.”

NUJ General Secretary Michelle Stanistreet urged an immediate end to the violence against journalists in Turkey.

“Journalists must be allowed to report in the public interest and must not been targeted for doing their job. The NUJ is supporting colleagues who have been attacked and we have asked David Cameron to contact the Turkish Prime Minister and call on him to respect human rights and the freedom of the press. The existing legal provisions and international obligations must be enforced so the media can report independently.”Bernadette Ségol, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) said they worried about the government officials’ statements to suppress peaceful strike demonstrations in Turkey. “The increasingly authoritarian response by the Turkish Government against people’s legitimate grievances is a cause for deep concern. Sending in the army can only make matters worse. Turkey has expressed its European vocation and is a member of the Council of Europe. It must act accordingly.”