August 11, 2016


Vienna, 11/08/2016

The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) called on institutions in Turkey to cease the enormous pressure imposed against journalists and media workers.

On 5 August, DIHA News Agency reporters Selman Keles and Idris Yilmaz were taken into custody while shooting in the Yusekova district, and detained in the local police directorate.

Mustafa Sutlas, Ismail Agan, Mehmet Ali Celebi and Osman Zorba are facing lawsuits on terrorist propaganda charges because of their work in Tukenmez magazine, an outlet that often writes about Kurdish issues. The prosecutor accused the journalists of praising the PKK and KCK organizations funded by the Kurdish Workers’ Party in their stories.

On 7 August, Kurdish television station Med Nuce TV stated that the satellite through which it broadcasts its programming is facing severe signal attacks, and that this is a part of the growing state persecution against media.

Journalists Hasan Akbas, Serpil Berk, Firat Topal and Serbest Sertac Kayar were arrested on 10 August while covering a car blast in the city of Diyarbakir.

‘SEEMO is deeply troubled by the current state of media freedom and the curbing of free expression rights in Turkey,’ said SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic. ‘We stand in solidarity with journalists and media workers in Turkey and the international community to condemn the repressive atmosphere that has taken hold since the failed coup in July.’

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.