EFJ Condemns Continuous Targeting of Journalists in Turkey after Police Raid

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today condemned the continuous targeting of journalists and media organisations following the police raid on the residences of journalists working for the daily newspaper Atilim, Özgür Radio and Etkin News Agency Tuesday morning.

Media Release
20 June 2013


According to the Turkish Journalists’ Union (TGS), the police raided the residences of Sedat Şenoğlu, general editorial coordinator of the daily Atılım, Selvi Coşar of Özgür Radio and the news editor of Etkin news agency, Derya Okatan as part of operations launched against the anti-government demonstration, #occupygezi. Following the raid, Sedat Şenoğlu and Selvi Coşar were taken into custody for questioning by the prosecutor.

Meanwhile, IMC TV news editor Gökhan Biçici and Ulusal Channel cameraman Emer Fidan who were arrested earlier this week were released Tuesday evening after giving a statement to the prosecutor. It was reported that they were beaten by the police during the arrested.

‘‘The continuous arrests and targeting of journalists are becoming a growing concern among the global community of journalists,’ said Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ President. ‘We urge the government to release immediately the arrested journalists who were exercising their rights to inform the public.’’

Concerns have also grown over the increasing state control of media organisations by the censoring body, RTÜK (the Supreme Board of Radio and Television). According to media report, the RTÜK threatened to impose fines on TV channels that are critical of the government, including Ulusal Channel, Halk TV, Hayat TV and Cem TV.

It was also reported that the government is planning a draft law to regulate the use of social media following the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan‘s claim that the social media is a ‘‘threat to society’’.

The EFJ and the  the International Federation of Journalists, earlier this week  called on their affiliates around the world to press the heads of the states and governments around the world to end the violent crackdown on media in Turkey.

Today, the EFJ delegates will speak up for the journalists who are fighting for press freedom in Turkey at  a European conference focusing on media freedom in the Western Balkans and Turkey hosted by  the European Commission in Brussels. It is estimated that 450 participants from the region and EU Member States including journalists, media analysts and politicians will attend.

''We call for solidarity among journalists and citizens in Europe to support the fight for press freedom in Turkey,'' added Blicher Bjerregård.

For more information, please contact EFJ on + 32 2 235 22 26

The European Federation of Journalists is the European group of the International Federation of Journalists. It represents over 300,000 journalists in 37 countries.