Turkish Journalists’ Syndicate: We Are Concerned About the Totalitarian Policies That Declare War Against People

07.07.2013
Translated from Turkish by Translators for Justice
Source: http://www.tgs.org.tr/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=580&Itemid=15

Police force has once again been engaged in Istanbul,  to prevent the use of basic rights and liberties. Many journalists following peaceful demonstrations were also made a target of the police attacks. During the events of yesterday, at least 13 journalists whose names could be identified were injured by nightsticks, plastic bullets and tear gas cartridges. In addition to more than 80 citizens, Beste Gul Oneren and Selcuk Ozmen from newspaper Aydinlik were taken into custody.We condemn this police violence against journalists doing their jobs and against people using their rights to express peaceful demands.

We would like to extend our heartfelt wishes to our injured colleagues and citizens to get better soon.

We demand all our injured colleagues and citizens to be released from custody immediately.

The governor of Istanbul, with the audacity he received from the political power, has once again committed a Constitutional crime by giving the order to the police to attack people and journalists.

We, hereby, protest the political power and local authorities, disregarding the democracy and liberty demands of the public, creating an environment of violence.

We remonstrate the Prime Minister once again to the history and to the international society due to the humanity crimes he has committed.

These dangerous policies resorted to by this totalitarian mentality, daring to almost declare war against people under the pretention of intervention to peaceful demonstrations, are escalating our concerns regarding the future of our country.

We call out to all the responsible parties in the management levels of the government, the parliament and the judicial bodies to take action right away and to utilize their legal authorities, in order to put an end to these violence prone policies of the political power.

Any kind of intervention to the press laborers is an attack towards the right of people to receive news and to obtain information. It is not possible for people to be free in a country where the freedom of press and of expression is not secured. In order to terminate the coercion aimed at journalists, it is critical for people and for our colleagues, resisting for freedom of press and paying the price thereof, to act in solidarity and struggle jointly.

We hereby invite all our journalists and our people to the press release, by TJS Istanbul Branch, that will take place in front of Caglayan Court House on July 8th, Monday, with the demand to release our colleagues and citizens that were taken into custody yesterday.

Sincerely,

TURKISH JOURNALISTS’ SYNDICATE

Journalists taken into custody:
Beste Gul Oneren and Selcuk Ozmen from newspaper Aydinlik .

Injured journalists whose names could be identified:
1) Onur Erem (reporter from BirGun, newspaper) was batted with nightstick despite showing his press ID card. Onur Erem received one day work-incapability health report.
2) Evrim Kurdoglu (freelance journalist) was batted with nightstick by the police.
3) Eda Sonmez (reporter from Sozcu, newspaper) was affected with temporary blindness due to gas bomb.
4) Ozcan Yaman (column writer and photo reporter from Evrensel, newspaper) was hurt on his chin due to tear gas cartridge.
5) Yunus Dalgic (photo reporter from Milliyet, newspaper) was thrown in front of a TOMA, got injured and his camera lens was broken.
6) Arif Balkan (reporter from Milliyet, newspaper) was hurt with a plastic bullet.
7) Tugce Tatari (journalist fired from Akşam newspaper) was thrown to the ground, roughed up and insulted by the police,
8) Makbule Cengiz (reporter from Halk TV) was roughed up by the police, she was bruised on her arms.
9) Sengul Derin (Ulusal Channel cameraman) was injured from her leg via a plastic bullet.
10) Dilem Tastan (soL Newspaper reporter) was injured from her leg with a plastic bullet.
11) Barıs Yarkadas (Executive Editor of Gercek Gundem news portal) was hit by a plastic paintball bullet.
12) Elif Akgul (Bianet reporter) was hit with a dyed plastic bullet.
13) Gökhan Bicici (program producer at IMC TV) was hit by plastic paintball bullet.

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