REGIONS:

SUBSCRIBE:

Sign up for weekly updates

Columnists protest against Prime Minister's warning to media

(BIANET/IFEX) - Istanbul, 3 March 2010 - Turkish columnists have published a joint statement responding to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's call to "control newspaper bosses and columnists." To date, 47 columnists have signed the protest letter.

The columnists published the joint open letter of protest in reaction to Prime Minister Erdogan's warning last week calling on media bosses to "get their columnists under control."

As reported by the Turkish news site http://www.ntvmsnbc.com, the journalists described Erdogan's remarks as grave.

Prime Minister Erdogan on the other hand claims that his declaration was misunderstood. In a meeting with the provincial chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara on Friday (26 February) Erdogan said, "You are paying the salaries of the columnists. You have no right to complain tomorrow."

The Turkish Journalists' Society (TGC), the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) and the Press Institute Association sharply criticized Erdogan. Later, the prime minister defended his comments, saying, "I did not say to sack the columnists that I do not like."

"We, the undersigned columnists, think that Prime Minister Erdogan's statement that newspaper bosses should control their columnists is contrary to press freedom and opposes the ideal of a democratic Turkey. We think this is a grave attitude and voice our protest against the statement."

The following journalists have signed the letter of protest:

Avni Özgürel, Haluk Sahin, Ahmet Tasgetiren, Mümtazer Türköne, Cüneyt Ülsever, Mehmet Tezkan, Ferai Tinç, Hadi Uluengin, Yasin Aktay, Taha Akyol, Sahin Alpay, Ergun Babahan, Ayse Böhürler, Ali Bulaç, Ahmet Hakan Coskun, Cengiz Çandar, Yasemin Çongar, Abdurrahman Dilipak, Mustafa Erdogan, Gülay Göktürk, Okay Gönensin, Nuh Gönültas, Nazli Ilicak, Etyen Mahçupyan, Güngör Mengi, Nuray Mert, Yildiray Ogur, Mustafa Mutlu, Semih Idiz, Ayse Hür, Sivilay Abla, Hikmet Çetinkaya, Deniz Kavukçuoglu, Ataol Behramoglu, Güray Öz, Yalçin Dogan, Demiray Oral, Bülent Kenes, Melih Altinok, Ihsan Dagi, Emre Uslu, Ruhat Mengi, Hadi Özisik, Hilal Kaplan, Orhan Kemal Cengiz, Kürsat Bumin and Abdullah Bozkurt.

Latest Tweet:

Nepal: @FORUMFREEDOM recorded a total of 66 press freedom violations in 2017, which is a sharp rise compared to the… https://t.co/GGrHrpZVNc