Today is May 3, World Press Freedom Day. In Turkey, where crackdown on media is increasing day by day, 159 journalists are currently in jail and almost 2,500 journalists are unemployed. Press organizations from Turkey and other countries released solidarity messages on the occasion of May 3.
Last evening, people protested the state of emergency decree that led the shutting down of more than 20 TV channels and radio stations.
Özgür Gündem's executive editor Zana Kaya and editor-in-chief İlhan Kızılkaya had been detained since August 16 and they were arrested yesterday evening.
Şebnem Fincancı, Erol Önderoğlu and Ahmet Nesin were arrested yesterday, because they worked as editors-in-chief on watch for Özgür Gündem newspaper. EU, Human Rights Watch, PEN and EuroMed released press statements about the arrests. They demand immediate release.
In 2015, there had been violations of rights in media in Turkey. The report prepared by Free Journalists Association of Turkey reveals the violations of rights that took place in 2015.
Journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül arrested because of the story and the footage published about the state intelligence agency’s (MİT) trucks loaded with guns.
Cumhuriyet newspaper staff and writers have published a declaration in reaction to President Tayyip Erdoğan’s words, “This newspaper too is now part of the spying scheme. The person who wrote this report will pay dearly for it, he won’t get away with it so easily,” targeting their Editor-in-Chief Can Dündar after their newspaper published a report on a delivery of Syria-bound arms in MİT [National Intelligence Service] trucks.
According to the ‘Freedom of the Press 2015’ report published by the US-based watchdog Freedom House, Turkey retained its place in the ‘not-free’ category. Turkey’s negative score increased to 65, placing it in 142nd place among 199 countries. The global situation in terms of press freedom is also deteriorating for the media.
Access to Twitter, YouTube and Facebook has been banned across Turkey in the most comprehensive access blockage on social networks so far.
The attack carried out on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo continues to be widely condemned. Solidarity messages on social media have used the hashtag #JeSuisCharlie while the National Union of French Journalists called for a vigil in the name of press freedom and democracy at 5 PM local time at the Place de la Republique, Paris.