Vienna, 31 March 2017 – The South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) expressed deep concern after having discovering news of many new media freedom violations in Turkey in the previous two days.
Selman Keles (Selman Keleş), a correspondent of the Dicle News Agency (DIHABER) was taken into custody in the Turkish province of Van on 20 March, where he was accused of belonging to an “illegal organization”. Keles was detained after filming coverage for news items near the Metropolitan Municipality Building. His equipment was confiscated.
Journalist Arif Aslan was also taken into custody at the time and, after giving his statement, was accused of allegedly being a member of a terrorist organization.
Murat Ide, former editor-in-chief of the private TV channel BenguTurk TV (BengüTürk TV), made a statement on Thursday, 30 March, that he was fired due to political reasons. According to Ide, he was laid off because he was resisting “saying yes” and supporting the current president in the upcoming presidential referendum in Turkey. The editor-in-chief added that he was fired not because he would say no, but because he would not say yes.
“The number of jailed journalists and media workers in Turkey reaches 200 people. This is a devastating fact, but it is also reality. I call once again the state institutions in Turkey to allow journalists and media outlets to work freely.” SEEMO Secretary General Oliver Vujovic stated today.
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.