Media Release – EFJ (European Federation of Journalists) Slams Turkish AKP Party over Access to Critical Media

A decision by the governing political party in Turkey to refuse access to its national convention to journalists from a number of national newspapers has today been strongly criticised as being out of step with modern democratic values.

The Justice and Development Party, known in Turkey as AKP, has denied accreditation to the event, which began on Sunday 30 September, to the journalists from newspapers including Cumhuriyet, Sözcü, Aydinlik, Birgün, Evrensel and Yeniçag, all of which have a record of critical journalism concerning the party’s current record in government.

Arne König, President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), has hit out at the decision and called on the party to reconsider.

“This decision appears to be about closing the door to critical and challenging journalism, and in doing so it is denying a portion of the public access to information about a key political event,” he said. “Of course organisations are free to choose who they allow in to their events, but for a political party to deny access to bona fide journalists appears to fly in the face of modern democratic values. If the media is given access to political events such as this, that offer should be open to all journalists so that the press can play its role as the eyes and ears of the public. I would urge the party to reconsider this decision and give the readers of these newspapers the opportunity to hear the news from its convention.”

The EFJ, which is a regional organization of the International Federation of journalists, represents over 310,000 journalists in over 30 countries.

For more information, contact the EFJ at +32 2 235.2200.