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JOURNALISTS PROTESTED VIOLENCE AND CENSORSHIP

Journalists Turkey Protest

TURKEY – On Friday 12 July 2013, hundreds of journalists rallied to slam the violence and censorship during recent anti-government demonstrations. Gathering under the banner of the “Journalists Platform” they came together at Galatasaray Square at 7 p.m. to protest what they termed the continual violence, pressure and threats they have faced at the hands of the police since the Gezi Park protests began in late May. They also demanded the release of their colleagues who are in prison.

The journalists marched behind a banner of penguins in a direct jibe at CNNTürk, which became the target of widespread ridicule and sarcasm at the beginning of the protests in late May when it chose to air a documentary on penguins rather than cover the demonstrations. CNNTürk’s penguins were subsequently adopted as a symbol of self-censorship that many news organizations, particularly the mainstream media, demonstrated during the initial stages of the protests.

The group began a sit-down strike after approximately 100 police blocked their way toward Taksim Square outside Galatasaray High School with two water cannons.

IMÇ TV’s Gökhan Biçici said, “Police have arrested reporters even after they show their official press cards, private broadcaster.” Other corespondents complained about having their equipment seized by authorities. ETHA news agency journalist Arzu Demir also accused the police of sexually harassing her while searching her house during a raid on June 18.

Journalists are not only abused by security forces. On Sunday June 23, Ankara Mayor Ibrahim Melih Gokcek described BBC Turkish reporter Selin Girit as an “English agent”, launching a campaign against her on Twitter. Following Gökçek’s groundless accusations BBC Global News Director, Peter Horrocks, had issued the following statement.

The BBC is very concerned by the continued campaign of the Turkish authorities to discredit the BBC and intimidate its journalists.

A large number of threatening messages have been sent to one of our reporters, who was named and attacked on social media by the Mayor of Ankara for her coverage of the current protests.

The BBC and all its journalists are committed to providing impartial and independent journalism. It is unacceptable for our journalists to be directly targeted in this way. There are established procedures for making comments and complaints about BBC output and we call on the Turkish authorities to use these proper channels.

The BBC’s Selin Girit has reported extensively on the ongoing Turkish protests.

According to 2012 Prison Census by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Turkey is the most oppressive country against press freedom and holds the leadership in the world with 49 journalists imprisoned.

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Categories

A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.