Turkey Journalists’ Union (TGS) protested in front of Çağlayan Courthouse against the continous arrest of journalists.
TGS representatives, Yeni Yaşam newspaper employees, as well as many journalists joined the demonstration. TGS members opened a banner saying “Journalism is not a crime” and frequently chanted “free press cannot be silenced”.
Before the statement, TGS President Gökhan Durmuş and TGS Organizing Secretary Mustafa Kuleli made a short speech about journalism, pressure and arrests.
‘What are you hiding from society?’
TGS Istanbul Branch President Banu Tuna reminded of the journalists arrested and prosecuted in the last 15 days. “In the last 15 days 28 of our colleagues have been detained and 8 were remanded in custody.”
Tuna underlined that journalism is a profession to protect public interests and added: “The purpose of journalism is not about protecting the interests of the rulers or a part of them, but to protect the interests of the society.”
Tuna asked: “What is being hidden from society in Turkey? What is it that make journalists a target?” Tuna called on Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül: “We want our colleagues who have been arrested for their journalistic activities to be released as soon as possible.”
The following journalists were arrested because of the news they have written in the last 8 days: “Yakın Doğu (Near East) News Agency Editor-in-Chief Alptekin Dursunoğlu, OdaTV Editor in Chief Barış Pehlivan, Yeni Yaşam (New Life) Newspaper Editor in Chief Ferhat Çelik, Yeni Yaşam Newspaper Editor-in-Chief Aydın Keser, OdaTV News Manager Barış Terkoğlu, YeniÇağ (New Age) Newspaper Writer Murat Ağırel, Oda TV reporter Hülya Kılınç, Rudaw reporter Rawin Sterk. “
Three Sputnik employees in Ankara, one in Istanbul, and journalists working in 13 local and international media organizations in Edirne were taken into custody and subsequently released.