Solidarity call from DFG and TGS for Müftüoğlu

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  • 12:33 28 February 2024
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AMED - DFG and TGS representatives called for solidarity for the hearing of imprisoned journalist Dicle Müftüoğlu, which will be held tomorrow, said: “This hearing is important not only for journalists but also for society. Because Dicle defended the society's right to receive information."

Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) Co-chair and Mezopotamya Agency (MA) editor Dicle Müftüoğlu, who was detained in a raid on her house in Amed on April 29, 2023, within the scope of the investigation carried out by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office and arrested on May 3, World Journalists Day, will appear before a judge once again tomorrow. 
 
The third hearing of the case in which Müftüoğlu, who is accused of "establishing and leading a terrorist organization" and "membership of a terrorist organization", will be held at Diyarbakır 5th High Criminal Court at 10.45.
 
DFG Secretary Gülşen Koçuk, who is also the editor of JINNEWS, and Turkish Journalists Union (TGS) Amed Representative Mahmut Oral called for solidarity for Müftüoğlu, who has been imprisoned for 10 months.
 
'JOURNALISM IS BEING CRIMINALIZED' 
 
Stating that journalism has been constantly tried to be criminalized in recent years, DFG Secretary Gülşen Koçuk said: “Actually, Dicle Müftüoğlu is not the only one on trial. We also saw how journalism was criminalized in the trials of our other journalist colleagues. Many things, such as the interviews our friends had with their news sources, the places they went for news purposes, their travels, their money transactions with their family members, actually appear before journalists as accusations through Dicle's indictment."
 
'GOVERNMENT FIRST TARGETS JOURNALISTS'
 
Stating that the government always targets journalists first in times when it is politically difficult, Koçuk said: “We have seen before that whenever the process evolves into a period of conflict and crisis, the first targets of the government are journalists. This is a method used by governments not only in Kurdistan and Turkey, but actually all over the world. The AKP administration has brought this to such a peak in recent years that it stands at a very advanced point among the countries of the world. In other words, we see it in the press freedom indexes of RSF (Reporters Sans Frontières -Reporters Without Borders). We see that Turkey's record and report card in terms of press freedom and journalists' right to receive and impart information is not good. The fact that Dicle Müftüoğlu is imprisoned just one of the indicators of this."
 
'DICLE DEFENDS THE SOCIETY'S RIGHT TO BE INFORMED'
 
Emphasizing that Dicle is only a journalist and that the reason for her arrest is journalism, Koçuk underlined that the hearing to be held tomorrow is an important hearing not only for journalists but also for society. Koçuk explained the reason as follows: “Because Dicle not only defended journalism in her defences, but also defended the society's right to receive news. In this sense, the solidarity to be shown there will both strengthen the journalism profession and re-strengthen society's right to reach the truth and society's right to learn the truth.”
 
To achieve this, Koçuk invited other professional organizations, her colleagues and the democratic public to be in front of the Diyarbakır Courthouse in solidarity with Dicle.
 
‘WE DO NOT EXPECT RESPECT FROM THE GOVERNMENT’ 
 
TGS Amed Representative Mahmut Oral stated that even Dicle's arrest on May 3, World Press Freedom Day, is an indication of how recklessly journalists are approached and how the legal system uses them against journalists.
 
Oral said that they do not expect a government that approaches journalism with such disproportionate and unlimited evil to respect this profession and pointed out that 13 journalists, who are currently members of associations such as Dicle, are imprisoned.
 
'THE TARGET IS TO RESTRAIN THE PRESS'
 
Oral said: “These friends are either in prison or have to defend journalism in courthouses during the periods when they are most productive. After taking over the seat in 2002, the government resorted to pressure and intimidation operations to keep the press under control as its sole goal. When it comes to journalists working in the Kurdish media, I think this intemperance, indifference and ruthlessness become even more apparent. Dicle Müftüoğlu must also be evaluated in this context."
 
'JOURNALISM MUST NOT BE CONSIDERED AS A 'TERRORISM' ACTIVITY'
 
Pointing out that all the accusations against Dicle are related to journalism, Oral said: “We have repeatedly stated that journalism in Turkey must no longer be seen as an activity of terrorism. Tomorrow, Müftüoğlu will be in court once again. Our hope is that he will first be released and the trial will end in acquittal. As journalistic professional organizations, we recently made a call to the international community to put pressure on the Turkish government. We hope that this call will be answered and support for Dicle Müftüoğlu will gradually increase.”
 
'KURDISH PRESS NEVER SILENCED'
 
Stating that the pressure on journalists in Turkey continues to increase day by day, Oral said: “It does not seem that the government will give up this excessive approach. This government's inability to give up will not deter journalists. Journalists working in the Kurdish press lost dozens of their friends. Despite this, they never remained silent. Therefore, it is not possible for the government to silence the voice of journalists and journalism by detaining, arresting or closing institutions through fear. First of all, we call on our colleagues as individuals and the press organizations as institutions to watch this hearing. It is necessary to give strong support to Dicle Müftüoğlu. As TGS, we have been following the case closely at the central level since the first day."
 

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