İstanbul – BIA News Desk, 11 March 2016
Journalist organizations have launched a campaign to call for releasing the journalists in prison and declare demands for ensuring freedom of press and expression with support from EFJ, IFJ, EJN and RSF.
Journalists Association of Turkey (TGC), Journalists Trade Union of Turkey (TGS), Progressive Journalists Association (ÇGD), Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions of Turkey (DİSK) Press Unit and International Press Institute (IPI) Turkey has launched a campaign to call for releasing the journalists in prison and declaring their demands for ensuring freedom of press and expression with support from (European Federation of Journalists) EFJ, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) and Reporters without Borders (RSF) .
The campaign is supported by journalist trade body such as EFJ,IFJ, International Press Institute (IPI), EJN and RSF.
Pointing out that 34 journalists are still in prison, journalist organizations have stated in their campaign call text, “We demand freedom for information and freedom of expression in Turkey where thousands of journalists are being sued”.
Drawing attention to the fact that only one fifth of the journalists are employed under the Press Labour Act No. 5953 and others had been employed without any social security, the organizations have also pointed out to the low wages, police violence against journalists who have no press card to impunity and that no life and work security could be provided for journalists in their working regions.
* The pressures interfering with people’s rights to information should be abandoned.
* The pressures targeting journalists should come to an end, journalists freedom of movement, security and access to news sources should be ensured across the country.
* Unlawful investigations against journalists should be abandoned.
* The 34 imprisoned and convicted journalists should be released.
* Should stand trial without arrest.
* The practice accreditation should be abandoned which invalidates the principle of equality in acquiring information.
* Regardless of how staggering the incidents may be, people’s rights to information should not be constricted, the application of broadcast blocks should be abandoned which already contradict the law.
* Internet censorship and access blocks should come to an end.
* Public procurements and advertisement of public corporations should be distributed among media actors equally.
* The practice of taking out broadcasting corporations found unpleasing by the government of satellite operators such as TURKSAT and digital broadcast platforms which are supposed to be unbiased should be stopped.
* The Article 199 of the Turkish Criminal Law (TCK) based on which libel lawsuit for defaming the President and public officials are brought before court should be changed. The habit of pushing journalists to auto-censor through charges of defamation should come to an end.
* Approaches which obstruct forming trade unions in the media should be avoided.
* A commission should be set up within the Grand National Assembly to study the issue of increasing unemployed journalists in the sector due to pressure against newspaper owners.
* The political authority should avoid approaches which hinder practicing journalism in compliance with the values of universal journalism and Turkey Journalism Rights and Responsibilities Declaration.