European Parliament Urges Turkey to release all journalists and end suppression

The European Parliament has adopted a reoslution on the situation of journalists in Turkey, and the re-opening of all media outlets thathave been closed in recent emergency measures.

 

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Following the arrests of several more elected local politicians and journalists in Turkey, the Socialist and Democratic Group has has expressed serious concerns about freedom of expression and pluralism in the country and called on the Turkish authorities not to use the failed military coup d’état as an excuse for attacking the media, journalists and writers. The Group promoted the European Parliament resolution setting out these concerns.

During debate on the reoslution in Plenary, Julie said:

"On 28 September, RTÜK, which is the higher board of radio and TV in Turkey, issued a closure order covering 23 radio and TV stations, including Zarok TV, a Kurdish children’s cartoon channel. Colleagues, what have SpongeBob SquarePants or The Smurfs ever done or said that can be called a threat to society? The Zarok audience are children, who have been left staring at empty TV screens, wondering why they have been punished. The case of Zarok TV, an entity with no political aspect, has led many of us to believe that the Turkish government can ban anything Kurdish simply for being Kurdish."

 

Speaking in Plenary on Monday October 24th, Julie said:

"I have just returned from a fact-finding mission in Turkish Kurdistan where I talked to communities living in a climate of fear and repression in Diyarbakir, Mardin and on the border with Syria. I saw the terrible state—sponsored destruction of the historic district of Sur, where dozens of young Kurds burned to death in basements. I talked to bereaved mothers in Nusaybin whose sons and daughters had perished because of the state’s attacks on its own citizens, their bodies torn apart, impossible to identify. Many are still missing. I met the distraught families of teachers whose loved ones have been sacked, intimidated and imprisoned for attending union meetings. I met democratically elected politicians – many of them women like myself – but who have been stripped of office due to trumped up charges because of their Kurdish identity and their political affiliation. I met Yazidi refugees cared for, not by the state, but by the Kurdish community, all wondering when the world will remember them.

Independent media is being silenced and shut down in Turkey, and journalists and academics arrested, tried and imprisoned. The country is in the grip of a terrible dictatorial man. Erdogan is messing with democracy because he is afraid of democracy. The June elections proved that there is a multiplicity of voices in Turkey and many of these belong to diverse ethnic groups and progressive forces. It is time for the EU to recognise the true reality of the Turkish State and demand human rights norms for everyone."