Turkish Union of Journalists – Statement on June 25th, 2013

25.06.2013
Translated from Turkish by Translators For justice
Source: http://www.tgs.org.tr/index.php?option=com_frontpage&Itemid=1

WE REPRIMAND THE PRIME MINISTER FOR PRESENTING JOURNALISTS AS A TARGET

The Prime Minister’s speech at AKP caucus in the parliament showed once more that he was reluctant to understand the democratic demands of the protesting people.The Prime minister insists on seeing the people’s protests for their democratic rights as the conspiracy of national and international media. We reprimand him for his words openly targeting at BBC reporter Selin Girit. It mustn’t be the business of a Prime Minister to question the job of Journalists which is both an identity and an occupation. Beside their duty to make people know about the facts and respect their right to access to the news, the journalists have other duties and rights such as publishing and broadcasting news freely, interpreting and criticising them. When their occupational actions are concerned, they only credit their colleagues’ words, but not what the governments or any interest lobbies say about them. For this reason, the Prime Minister Mr. Erdoğan’s arguments about journalism and journalists and his words about Selin Girit are not credited.

However, the prime minister Mr. Erdoğan’s provocative style of speaking and targeting at Selin Giritli apparently is added to his hate crimes.

Erdoğan addmitted giving the police the order to intervene with the protestors, which also meant he took the responsibility of journalists’ becoming the target of the police violence.

We make a call to the Prime Minister to act as a statesman who doesn’t intervene in the freedom of press and freedom of expression, and call him to quit his style of prompting society to hostility and nurturing grudge against each other.

Our biggest wish is to see the Prime Minister purified from his ambitions and desisting from seeing and presenting the protesting people and the journalists as enemies.

We expect the government and the parliament to acknowledge the demands of the society, remove the prohibitions on the freedom of press and expression, release the journalists in jail, guarantee the editorial independence against censorship and self-censoring which are imposed by the media bosses.

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