English PEN joins forces with Amnesty to campaign for greater press freedom in Turkey
Nine months on from the attempted coup last July, the situation for press freedom in Turkey continues to deteriorate. Turkey is now the world’s biggest jailer of journalists, many of whom have not yet been informed of the charges against them, while more than 100 independent newspapers and broadcasters have been forced to close. The repression has been widely condemned by fellow journalists and writers across the globe and leading NGOs, as well as by the United Nations and the Council of Europe, of which Turkey is a member state.
With just over a week to go until Turkey’s upcoming referendum, on Sunday 16 April, there is widespread concern that the media is unable to perform its role of ensuring that the public is fully informed ahead of the historic decision they will make next week.
The situation continues to look bleak. Just this week, we have seen the indictment of staff at Cumhuriyet, including former chief editor Can Dündar, now living in exile, and our former writer-in-residence Ahmet Şık, detained since December 2016. Both face charges of ‘helping an armed terrorist organisation without being a member’, details of which were leaked to the press before being shared with their defence team.
With so many fellow writers and journalists now imprisoned in Turkey, it is essential that we work together to support our imprisoned colleagues. Please join us.
Show your support on social media
We are asking fellow journalists, writers, and supporters of freedom of expression to show their support for the many journalists and writers currently imprisoned and on trial in Turkey. Please follow @FreeTurkeyMedia on Twitter and show your support by tweeting a photo with a sign reading #FreeTurkeyMedia #GazetecilikSuçDeğildir
Join the vigil in London
English PEN will be joining colleagues from Amnesty to host a silent vigil outside the Embassy of Turkey on Wednesday 3 May, World Press Freedom Day. Please join us and feel free to bring your own #FreeTurkeyMedia banners and placards if you would like to.
Wednesday 3 May, 5.30pm
Turkish Embassy, 43 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PA
Press enquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Write to the authorities
You can send a letter via Amnesty’s website to Minister of Justice Bekir Bozdağ calling for the release of our imprisoned colleagues.
Please also write to the Turkish authorities
- Calling for all detained writers and journalists to have access to lawyers and to be released if they are not to be charged with a recognisably criminal offence and tried promptly in accordance with international fair trial standards;
- Calling on the authorities not to use the state of emergency to crack down on peaceful dissent, civil society, media and education.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Tel : (+90 312) 525 55 55
Fax : (+90 312) 525 58 31
Minister of Interior Affairs
Ministry of Interior Affairs
T.C. İçişleri Bakanlığı, Bakanlıklar / Ankara, Republic of Turkey
Tel: (+90 312) 422 40 00
Çankaya Mah. Ziaur Rahman Cad. Çankaya / Ankara
Tel: (+90 312) 403 50 00
Fax: (+90 312) 422 10 00
Please copy your appeals to the Embassy of Turkey in your country and send us copies of your letters or information about other activities and of any responses received.