Friday, October 15, 2010

Fourty-two newspapers and magazines shut down in Turkey

14 October 2010

2009 was a bad year in Turkey for freedom of the press, with 42 newspapers and magazines shut down

Fourty-two newspapers and magazines were ordered shut down in Turkey in 2009, Peace and Democracy MP Akin Birdal says.

Speaking in a press conference in Turkish parliament Birdal said violations against freedom of press is on the rise in Turkey. Birdal pointed that Turkey is 122th on the list of countries respecting freedom of press.

He said fourty-two newspapers and magazines were shot down in 2009 and access to 4662 websites were restricted. According to Birdal’s statements 643 persons appeared before court and 499 were sentenced in jail.

Birdal said the trend is the same in 2010 and restrictions on press institutions is on the rise. Reporters who are working for DIHA News Agency, Azadiya Welat and Gunluk newspapers are particularly targeted said Birdal. ,

He gave some examples of cases against journalists who were tried because of their articles and reports.

A journalist working for Radikal newspaper, Rifat Basaran who made an interview with BDP co-president Emine Ayna is now facing jail sentences up to 7,5 years in jail.

Editor of Azadiya Welat newspaper Vedat Kursun was also sentenced to 13 years in jail for propaganda crimes.

26 journalists are now in Turkish prisons most of them are working for Kurdish press institutions.

Birdal called for press law reform to guarantee perss freedom in Turkey.