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Newspaper, journalists charged

In a 5 January 2000 letter to Rauf Denktash of the Turkish Cypriot Administration, IFJ expressed its concern at the actions of the Turkish Cypriot administration against the daily Turkish Cypriot newspaper "AVRUPA".

According to an "AVRUPA" front page report, the newspaper charged that during the previous week itself and six well known journalists working for it received sixty-nine summonses to appear before a military court, accused of incitement and defamation of the government.

IFJ believes that these charges are designed to prevent legitimate journalistic inquiry and comment on the work of the authorities. As such they constituted a severe breach of the right to freedom of expression.

The actions against "AVRUPA" follow efforts some time ago to intimidate the newspaper which has suffered an embargo on advertisements.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to Denktash:
- noting that while the Turkish Cypriot authorities may well resent the editorial position of "AVRUPA" which is critical of official policy in North Cyprus and the consolidation of the division of Cyprus into two separate states, these are legitimate and serious opinions that should have expression in a democracy
- calling on the Turkish Cypriot authorities and the Turkish government to lift the current legal action against the newspaper "AVRUPA"

Appeals To


Rauf Denktash
Turkish Cypriot Administration

Letters of protest or solidarity may be forwarded to:
Union of Cyprus Journalists
Fax: +357 2 664 598

Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

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