The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) is deeply concerned by recent developments in Turkey.
Yeni Safak daily photojournalist Mustafa Cambaz was killed by soldiers while covering the coup attempt on 15 July. Soldiers had also taken over the public broadcaster TRT, and news host Tijen Karas was forced to read a statement on TV at gunpoint. Soldiers also took over some private media outlets for several hours.
Selcuk Samiloglu, a photojournalist from daily Hürriyet, was beaten while reporting in Istanbul during the coup attempt. The attack happened on Istanbul’s Bosporus Bridge after he made a photo of people who kick and beat a arrested Turkish soldier that participated in the attempted coup.
SEEMO is also alarmed by government decisions made after the coup attempt. According to information received by SEEMO, on 19 July the government revoked the licenses of 25 media companies. Additionally, during recent days the authorities blocked access to numerous websites and also the cancelled the state press cards of numerous of journalists.
‘These recent developments amount to a very serious attack on democracy and the rule of law in Turkey,’ said SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic. ‘SEEMO is very concerned by the political situation in Turkey right now and its implications for media freedom’.
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.
SEEMO condemns this decision by the authorities in Baku.