Turkey: EFJ supports AFP journalists in Istanbul in their 7th day of strike action
Journalists at Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Istanbul entered their 7th day of strike action to demand higher salaries in the face of soaring prices. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) expresses support for striking journalists and urges the AFP to provide decent wages to its employees. A fair wage is not a privilege, but a right.
The Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) went on strike on World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, after failing to reach an agreement with the management of the global news agency.
Journalists’ demands include an increase in salaries to compensate for inflation as well as a protection mechanism to compensate for the erosion of the Turkish lira.
TGS Chairman Gökhan Durmuş said they have been negotiating with AFP for over three months, but the company has ignored the demands related to the economic crisis that has deeply affected all employees in Turkey:
“We made every effort during the collective bargaining negotiations to end this process at the table. However, we could not persuade the employer to accept our proposal to prevent the erosion of our wages. Turkey is facing a severe economic crisis. Price hikes on basic consumption items almost every day are causing a serious livelihood problem. We express the price hikes on the most basic consumption items and house rents in the last year in percentages of 300,” he said.
Journalists’ unions in France shared messages of solidarity on Twitter to support colleagues in Turkey in their struggle for decent pay.
⚡️ On #WorldPressFreedomDay@AFP staff in Turkey on strike.
Press freedom is not only about reporting without constraints; it's also about fair wages for journalists. #AFPTurkeyStrike pic.twitter.com/7cFHG9tYSA
— Gazeteciler Sendikası (@TGS_org_tr) May 3, 2023