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.
United Nations declared May 3 as the World Press Freedom Day in 1993.
Journalists' Association of Turkey released a message on the occasion
of World Press Freedom Day: “In order to build peace in the
country, 159 imprisoned journalists should be released immediately.
We believe that hard times will pass, this oppression against
journalists will come to an end, politicians who caused this
situation will be gone one day and journalism will always remain.”
Press Council of Turkey will gather together in Silivri, where imprisoned journalists are kept. Spouses of the imprisoned journalists will also be present at the gathering.
Noting that Turkey is going through the worst time in its history in terms of freedom of press and expression, Journalists' Union of Turkey announced that they will take to streets once again for demanding imprisoned journalists are released.
Press Union of Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK) said in a statement: "We have always said that freedom of press is the prerequisite for democracy and for an order in which human rights are recognized. Arresting, prosecuting and firing journalists amount to silence each citizen's voice. We will continue to speak up for a country where media outlets are not shut down and journalists are not subjected to oppression.”
“Free press is imprisoned”
This year, international press and human rights organizations especially emphasized the situation in Turkey.
Amnesty International and International Press Institute released statements on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day and expressed their solidarity with imprisoned journalists in Turkey.
Released by Amnesty International Germany Office, the statement demands immediate release of journalists. It is pointed out that restrictions on press freedom have become a daily routine in the world and the situation in Turkey is especially emphasized.
Secretary General of Amnesty International Germany Office, Markus N. Beeko said: “Nowhere in the world there are as many imprisoned journalists as in Turkey. 'Free press' is imprisoned."
“156 media outlets have been closed”
Amnesty International reminded that 156 media outlets have been closed and almost 2500 journalists have lost their jobs since the coup attempt on July 15. Noting that 120 journalists have been imprisoned since the coup attempt, Amnesty International pointed out that most of them have no indictment against them.
Vienna-based International Press Institute Director of Advocacy and Communications Steven Ellis released an open letter addressed to imprisoned journalists in Turkey. Published in Cumhuriyet newspaper, the letter reads: "Your colleagues all around the world want you to know that you are not alone and forgotten." It is also stated that "the cases against journalists who are imprisoned because of their profession are Turkish government's effort to silence criticisms and eliminate accountability."