Journalists protest detention of their colleagues: We will continue on our path


ANKARA - Journalists protesting the beating and detention of 3 journalists in Ankara Ulus Square said that they would continue on their path despite  the pressure.

Police attacked the press release that the Dicle Fırat Journalists' Association (DFG) and Mesopotamia Women Journalists Platform (MKGP) wanted to make in Ankara's Ulus Square for the 16 journalists arrested in Diyarbakır. In the attack, Mesopotamia Agency (MA) Ankara Office Reporter Deniz Nazlım, journalists Sibel Yukler and Yıldız Tar were beaten and detained.

Journalists, who went to the Ankara Office of the Confederation of Progressive Trade Unions (DİSK) Press and Printing Press Employees' Union (Basin-İş) made a statement regarding the police attack and the detention of their colleagues.

In addition to many journalists, Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) Adana Deputy Tülay Hatimoğulları, Public Workers' Unions Confederation (KESK) Co-Chair Mehmet Bozgeyik, Human Rights Association (İHD) Co-Chair Öztürk Türkdoğan and DİSK Press-Business Regional Representative Turgut Dedeoğlu  participated at the press release.

Turgut Dedeoğlu spoke at the press release, in front of a banner that reads "Free press cannot be silenced" and "Journalism is not a crime" with photographs of imprisoned journalists..


Reminding that 25 years ago when Özgür Ülke Newspaper was bombed the newspaper was published with the headline "This fire will burn you too", Dedeoğlu said: "Nothing changed in the past 25 years. Even though we let them know that we were going to make a press release there, they did not respond and they violated our constitutional right. Journalism is not a crime."


Speaking on behalf of the DFG, journalist Özgür Paksoy said: "They attacked our friends, battered, tortured and detained them. Deniz Nazlım and Sibel Yükler are still detained. We are very accustomed to the violence of the state. We will continue to defend the people's right to recieve news. Our workplaces are under police blockade for the last 28 days. They are trying to find something that will incriminate our friends. They were not able to find anything yet. We will continue on this path they define as a crime."


Stating that very heavy prices have been paid in the past 33 years of the free press tradition, Journalist and Writer Hüseyin Aykol said: "Maybe they don't murder our friends like they used to do in the 1990's but they are detaining and arresting them. Some are forced to migration. We continue to write no matter what they do. No one writes the stories we write. Either they are afraid to do so, or if they do, they bend the truth. We came here paying very heavy prices. We have 52 martyrs of free press. We will continue on our path because the people need to hear the truth. We will continue to write."


HDP MP Tülay Hatimoğulları called for the immediate release of the journalists. Hatimoğulları said: "The free press workers called to the consciousness of the people with the responsibility they felt for them and they became their voices. We would like to thank them once again. Free press workers are our honour. We will continue the struggle with the free press."


İHD Co-chair Öztürk Türkdoğan said: "The detention of our friends who protect the people's right to recieve news is unacceptable. The arrested journalists are journalists who write facts that everyone in Turkey wants to know. In that case, the political and social opposition in Turkey also has a role to play. We will learn the truth by supporting the free press."


Speaking on behalf of MKGP holding her camera high, Öznur Değer said: "This camera is not just a tool for us. It is the legacy of Ape Musa, Gurbettelli Ersöz and other press heroes. We wanted to get together to once again repeat that. However we faced once again with the fascist mentality. We do not expect solidarity. We expect everyone to protect their right to recieve news. Let's do it together."

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