TGS calls for solidarity with Kurdish politicians on trial

ANF – ISTANBUL 25.10.2013 – The Journalists’ Association of Turkey (TGS) has held a press conference to call for solidarity with 46 Kurdish journalists whose trial will be resumed on 28 October and last five days.

Speaking at the press conference, ANF reporter and ETHA editor Arzu Demir reminded that 20 out of the 46 Kurdish journalists have been jailed for two years in the scope of the so-called KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) press case. Demir, who herself is also tried in the KCK press case, pointed out that the court was in tendency to finalize the trial by imposing severe sentences on defendants and restricting their right to defense, thus eliminating the legal discussion platform during trials.

Speaking after, TGS President Ercan İpekçi underlined that they would never give up the struggle for their colleagues, and called on the Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to stand by jailed journalists as much as he stands behind MIT (National Intelligence Organization) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, mayors involved in defraudation and bureaucrats committing unlawful acts. Ipekçi stressed that the freedom of press and expression problem in Turkey would remain unsolved unless the anti-terror law and specially authorized courts are completely abolished. He remarked that the trial of journalists in Turkey also constituted a threat to the freedom of the press in the international arena.

Ipekçi called on all journalists to stand by their colleagues who -he underlined -are paying a price for doing their job.Speaking after, DIHA editor Çağdaş Kaplan remarked that the trial of 46 journalists raised concerns over the freedom of press and expression, noting that the journalistic works of their colleagues were put forward as evidences of their alleged membership to a terrorist organization. Kaplan said that the court ruling the KCK press case was being unlawful by ruling sentences without the giving and discussion of evidences and trying to finalize the case as soon as possible by holding the trials very often, as much as almost once or twice a month. He stressed that their colleagues would be subject to execution without due process.