Professional associations, unions denounce pro-gov’t think tank report profiling journalists

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Turkish journalist associations and unions held a press conference on Tuesday, denouncing a pro-government think tank report profiling journalists working for foreign media organizations’ Turkish services, the Bianet news website reported.

Representatives from the Journalists’ Association of Turkey (TGC), PEN Turkey Center, the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS), the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions of Turkey (DİSK), the Press Labor Union, the Writers Union of Turkey (TYS), the Turkish Publishers Association (TÜRKYAYBİR), the News Union (HABER-SEN) and the Contemporary Journalists Association (ÇGD) attended the press conference.

The pro-government Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) on Saturday published a 200-page report profiling foreign media workers based on their political leanings as revealed in their tweets.

Many journalists on social media condemned the report, saying it was an attempt at blackmail in a broader smear campaign against foreign media employees.

Sibel Güneş from the TGC said the report “has put the lives of journalists in danger.”

“Over 10,000 journalists have been left without a job as hundreds of media outlets have been closed under pressure. And the journalists who can still work are under the pressure of censorship and self-censorship,” she added.

“We will not let SETA get away with what they did because what they did is a crime,” TGC Chairman Turgay Olcayto said.

“This report threatens not only the newspapers, media and journalists mentioned, but all journalists who want to do their jobs and all independent media outlets. If anything happens to a single colleague of ours, SETA is to blame,” said Zeynep Oral, chair of PEN Turkey.

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