OSCE Representative calls on Turkey to refrain from acts of intimidation against media, following appointment of trustees to run Zaman newspaper

VIENNA, 4 March 2016 – Appointing trustees to manage the Zaman daily newspaper is the latest in a string of measures initiated by the authorities to intimidate media in Turkey, Dunja Mijatović, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media said today.

“Today’s decision of the authorities to appoint trustees to Zaman newspaper is deeply worrying,” Mijatović said. “This move not only further threatens media pluralism in the country, but also intimidates critical voices.”

Earlier today the Istanbul Sixth Criminal Court of Peace issued a decision to appoint trustees to manage Zaman newspaper, following the initiative of the Office of the Istanbul Chief Prosecutor.

“It is the responsibility of the authorities to ensure a vibrant and pluralistic media landscape,” Mijatović said. “This must be extended to media outlets whose editorial policies the authorities disagree with.”

The Representative recalled the appointment of trustees to the media outlets, Bugün TV and Kanaltürk in October last year. Both media outlets, known for their critical editorial policies, went bankrupt earlier this week.

“I call on the Turkish authorities to urgently engage in efforts to reverse this negative trend. The constitutionally protected freedom of expression in the country must be guaranteed,” Mijatović said.