Vienna, 30 October 2016 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) was dismayed to learn that following a failed coup attempt in Turkey on 15 July, the state apparatus has continuously been closing media outlets without previous notice or legal justification.
SEEMO has brought this subject to light in several reactions, yet authorities in Turkey continue their rampage against journalists and media houses. The most recent executive orders (by the Palace-governmental Decrees) have shut down indefinitely over 15 newspapers, magazines and news agencies on charges of allegedly having links with terrorist organizations behind the coup attempt, bringing the total number to over 160 closed outlets. Most often, these are Kurdish media outlets, such as DIHA (Dicle News Agency), JINHA (Women News Agency), Azadiya Welat (Kurdish daily), and others.
“The media situation in Turkey is dire, and we need help from the international community in order to work on these issues and try to salvage the remainders of speech rights and freedoms in the country” SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic said. “We call on authorities in Ankara to reflect on the troubling situation, and help bring democracy and order into media issues” Vujovic added.
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.