The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is concerned by the reaction of Turkish officials in Kosovo, in the aftermath of the coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July.
Berat Buzhala, prominent journalist and editor-in-chief of the news portal Express shared several status updates on his Facebook profile after this month’s political turmoil in Turkey. One of them was a satirical status saying that Kosovar tourists that were in the country at the time should support the army. An official letter was then sent by the Turkish Embassy in Kosovo to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs asking that Mr. Buzhala be arrested because of comments he wrote on his personal page.
The Turkish ambassador argued this claim by referring to a law amendment prohibiting any citizen of Kosovo from participating in conflicts within other countries. The law was initially created for Kosovars who wanted to join terrorist organisations in Syria.
‘SEEMO calls on Turkish institutions to respect the right of individuals to express their opinions in from of satiric and joke in Turkey and international’, said SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic.
SEEMO is a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South, East and Central Europe and its press freedom work is supported by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) project, as part of a grant by the European Commission.