EP’s Harms calls for end of persecution of journalists in Turkey

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Ahead of a debate at the European Parliament on the situation of journalists in Turkey, Rebecca Harms, the president of the Green-European Free Alliance group and a member of Alliance ‘90/The Greens at the national level, has called on Turkey to end the persecution of journalists in the country.

“The situation of journalists in Turkey, which was bad before the coup, intensifies day by day. Thousands of journalists have been dismissed, one hundred press and media companies closed, and over a hundred journalists imprisoned. The internationally renowned journalists and authors Ahmet and Mehmet Altan are an example of this persecution. They were surprisingly accused of being the masterminds behind the coup and are being detained, with very limited rights. The cases of the writer Nasli [sic] Erdoğan and the authors Şahin and Necmiye Alpay are similarly startling,” said Harms in a statement on Wednesday.

Turkey experienced a military coup attempt on July 15 that claimed the lives of 240 people and injured a thousand others. The Turkish government declared a state of emergency in the aftermath of the coup. Dozens of media outlets in the country have been closed down and scores of journalists have been jailed by the government since the putsch thanks to the emergency rule in the country.

The arrested journalists include prominent individuals such as brothers Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan, Aslı Erdoğan, Şahin Alpay and Necmiye Alpay.

“Journalism is not a crime and diversity of opinion is a condition for democracy. We demand that the Turkish government end the arbitrary persecution of journalists in Turkey,” Harms said in further remarks.

According to a story by independent journalism organization Platform 24 (P24) the total number of journalists who are imprisoned in Turkey had reached 130 as of Oct. 18.

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