International press organizations call for release of jailed journalists in Turkey
International press organizations have called for the release of jailed journalists in Turkey in a meeting they held at the Turkish Journalists' Association's (TGC) headquarters in Istanbul's Çağlayan district.
TGC, the International Press Institute (IPI), Article 19, Swedish PEN, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and Association of European Journalists (AEJ) joined the meeting, as well as a number of journalists.
The organizations have called for the release of jailed journalists "without any condition."
TGC head Turgay Olcayto, at the meeting, said journalists have been struggling since the foundation of the Turkish Republic, but "there was not any distressful era like this one," noting that a total of 145 journalists were currently in prison in Turkey.
"Among them, there are those who have only engaged in journalistic activities. We want to visit them as a trade body. We've never had the opportunity to visit any of our friends until now," Olcayto said, adding that "the opportunity is not given to them."
"Journalists and televisions are under massive pressure and the people do not have the right to getting information. Despite this fact, the journalists consisting of youth in Turkey continue their works in difficulty and try to do their best even though they become unemployed. We are not losing our hope," he said.
Steven Ellis, who coordinates IPI's advocacy and communication activities, said they joined the meeting "as the press organizations that are concerned about the future of freedom of expression in Turkey."
"The journalists are kept in jail in a completely unlawful way. It's an unacceptable situation for a country that is expected to respect all democratic processes. Bringing media freedom...