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Protesters call for press freedom in Turkey

19 December 2014

The NUJ sent support to a Downing Street protest against media oppression in Turkey.

Last week, Turkish police arrested more than 20 journalists including Ekrem Dumanli, the editor-in-chief of Turkey’s largest circulating newspaper Zaman and Hidayet Karaca, the chairman of Samanyolu Media Group. They also arrested the directors, producers and even scriptwriters of a popular TV series.

It is now estimated that 60 to 70 per cent of the media in Turkey is controlled by the government. Earlier this year the Turkish government banned YouTube and Twitter in Turkey because it could not control and censor its content. Now, the government is taking similar steps against another group of independent media outlets.

Barry White, NUJ representative to the European Federation of Journalists, brought greetings and solidarity from the NUJ and EFJ to the Downing Street protest. He called on the UK government to speak out in defence
of freedom of expression and the right to report in Turkey and for the release of all journalists facing prosecution in that country for just doing their job. He said:

"The government  must not remain silent to these abuses. Last year saw a drop in the number of journalists in
prison, a welcome move, but this latest attack by the authorities shows that they have come back for more. We will continue to campaign for freedom of expression and the of right to report by standing in solidarity with our journalist colleagues in Turkey."

Tags: , turkey, press freedom, barry white, journalists detained, downing street