'We have seen by experience that there is no freedom of thought and expression'

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  • 11:16 28 October 2020
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DİYARBAKIR - Today is the fourth year anniversary of 116 press and broadcasting organizations had been closed with law decrees. Reminding that AKP was propagandizing the freedom of thought and expression when it first started, Van TV Editor in Chief Serdar Altan said: "We have seen by experience that there is no freedom of thought and expression." 

The state of emergency declared after the failed military coup attempt on July 15, 2016 was over on July 17, 2018 but the state of emergency applications continue. The government issued 36 Decree Laws during this period, based on its power to issue a Statutory Decree under the mandate of the state of emergency law. 
The government's primary target was the Kurdish press and the opposition press because it could not control them, even though they took the central media under control. With the law decree number 668, issued 12 days after the coup attempt, 18 televisions,  3 news agencies, 23 radios, 45 newspapers, 15 magazines, 29 publishing houses and distribution channels were closed. Among the televisions that were shut down were IMC TV, Hayat’ın Sesi TV, Özgür Gün TV, Jiyan TV, Azadi TV, Denge TV, Van TV, Van Genç TV, TV 10, Mesopotamya TV, Birlik Medya TV, Zarok TV.
The second decree for the press was the decree numbered 675, issued on October 29. With this decree, 15 media outlets including Dicle News Agency (DİHA), Jin News Agency (JINHA), Özgür Gündem newspaper and Azadiya Welat newspaper were closed.
National and international media professional organizations reported that during the state of emergency, 178 organizations including the press organizations and their affiliated distribution companies were shut down, while the number of media organizations closed according to the government was 116.
Responding to the parliamentary question of CHP Deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu regarding how many press and broadcasters were closed during the state of emergency, Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Çavuşoğlu, announced that 6 news agencies, 18 televisions, 22 radios, 50 newspapers and 20 magazines (a total of 116) were closed.
Van TV Editor-in-Chief and Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) Co-chair Serdar Altan reminded that AKP was propagandizing the freedom of thought and expression when it first started, Van TV Editor in Chief Serdar Altan said: "We have seen by experience that there is no freedom of thought and expression." 
Stating that what's happening is fascism, Altan said: "This has been coming since 2016. Pressuring press was one of the indications. Many operations were carried out against the press under the roof of KCK Press case. But they understood that they couldn't silence the Kurdish press, the free press with tactics like these. Because the tradition of free press started back in the 90's and have been through worse. No matter what they tried they couldn't silence the free press and they couldn't prevent us from exposing their dirty laundry.
Stating that they established JİNHA with the slogan 'We are writing without thinking what the men would think', news editor of Jinha which was closed down with a law decree Derya Ceylan said: "We established Jinha on March 8 International Women's Day with a focus on women, children and ecology. It was a new era. Jinha was not only the voice of the Kurdish women, but also the voice of all women in the Middle East."
Noting that they have created a new language, far away from the masculine language of the press, Ceylan said: "We have raised awareness and started a new era in the women's journalism with sticking to the tradition of the free press. We started with 4 female journalists and now we are more than a hundred women journalists. Access to our website was blocked dozens of times, many of us were detained and arrested but our priority have always been exposing the violations of rights of women , children and all living things. Jinha was closed down with a law decree after the failed coup attempt, but we are still here, and we will be here."
MA / Fethi Balaman 

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