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Four websites face lawsuits for reporting on labour issues in media group

(BIANET/IFEX) - Four websites reporting on the obstruction of trade union activities among employees of "Sabah" newspaper have been sued for compensation by Nurdan Acur, human resources manager of the Merkez Newspaper Group.

The Modern Journalists' Association (CGD) has condemned Acur for filing suits against four Internet sites which had posted items about her and demanding that the news items be removed.

Acur has demanded a total of 6,000 YTL (approx. US$4,280) in compensation from the websites http://www.superpoligon.com , http://www.celiknet.com , http://www.haberciler.com and http://www.gercekgündem.com for publishing statements saying that she was trying to prevent trade union activities at "Sabah".

CGD chairperson Ahmet Abakay has said that it is well known that there is pressure on employers in the media sector, including those working for "Sabah" newspaper and ATV channel, not to join trade unions. He evaluated Acur's complaints as an indication of "how outdated the management of some press institutions is and how primitive the press sector is."

Abakay pointed out that Cengiz Erdinc, chairperson of the CGD's Istanbul branch, had been dismissed in a similar context. "It is only possible in countries like Turkey, which are far from democracy and modernity, to sue those Internet publications that report and comment on the fact that some employees have been fired."

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