Currently in Turkey: online censorship, attacks against media and detention of journalists

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The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) are jointly calling the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu to immediately lift all the bans against news organisation, protect press freedom (including journalists’ work places) and release all journalists being detained.

According to media reports, the Turkish Telecommunications Authority (TIB) has geographically blocked access to the website of Dicle News Agency (DIHA), dedicated to the coverage of the Kurdish issue. “This is the eleventh times that free access to the Dicle News Agency’s online version is being blocked based on a request coming from the Prime minister office. DIHA continue to publish information using the following addresses www.diclehaber.com, www.diclehaber.com.tr, www.dihanews.net, www.dihanews.com, www.diclenews.com, www.diclenews.org, www.diclehaber.info, www.diclenews.info, www.dihanews.info, www.dihahaber.info and www.diclehaberajansi.info but all addresses have been blocked by the autorithies”, explains the press agency.

On 6-7 September, Hürriyet daily newspaper’s Istanbul headquarters has been pelted with stones by a group of pro- Justice and Development Party (AKP) supporters. Around 150 pro-AKP protesters started to convene in front of Hürriyet’s headquarters in Istanbul’s Bağcılar district hours after a deadly terrorist attack occurred in the Southeastern part of Turkey. The group then attacked security personnel at the outer gate before forcing their way to the door, which they pelted with stones. Protesters chanting pro-AKP slogans retreated after riot police arrived on the scene, reports the daily newspaper.

“It is the responsibility of the Turkish authorities to guarantee press freedom and the safety of journalists in the country. The recent attack against Hürriyet‘s office, just like the media crack down on the pro-Gülen media, are unacceptable and must be strongly condemned by the Turkish government. The Prime minister’s office should also immediately stop using the new internet regulation to censor and block access to online media”, said Jim Boumelha, IFJ President.

“We fully support our colleagues in Turkey, the trend for more censorship, more detention, more violations must stop ! Journalists should have the right to do their work safely and without the fear of being arrested or fired. The European journalists will continue to support press freedom and share their concerns in Brussels”, said Mogens Blicher Bjerregaard, EFJ President.

On The EFJ-IFJ and their affiliate TGS (Journalists Union of Turkey) will address all those issues at their next international conference on 17-18 September in Istanbul entitled “Fighting for journalists rights and freedoms in a politically polarized country”. More information about the programme can be found here

Photo CreditThis photo taken on September 8, 2015 shows broken windows of the headquarters of the Hurriyet newspaper on September 8, 2015, in Istanbul’s Bagcilar district, after an attack. Supporters of Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) stormed the headquarters of the Hurriyet newspaper today in Istanbul after accusing the daily of misquoting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The attack on the newspaper comes amid growing concern over press freedoms in Turkey and the use of the courts by the president to pursue journalists who criticise him. AFP PHOTO / HURRIYET DAILY

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