Altan: Media must organize against repression

Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) was established in Amed. Dicle Müftüoğlu and Serdar Altan are the co-chairs of the association which was founded to defend the professional values ​​and the rights of journalists.

On 4 January Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) was founded in Amed. The co-chair Serdar Altan spoke with ANF about the aims and work of the association. He explained that the foundation of the association had become necessary in view of the increasing repression and attacks on journalists in Turkey, in order to better show solidarity and to protect the rights of journalists.

Journalism is a very important profession to bring the truth to light, Altan said and continued: "In Turkey, media professionals face massive problems. The system is targeting journalists in particular. It does not want their voice to be heard by society that is intended to be kept away from reality. Thus a deaf, dumb and blind society is intended to be created. In Turkey and Kurdistan, journalists experience violence at the highest level. They experience every form of repression, from arrests and imprisonment to threats. Due to the increase in repression, the media are practically unable to work.

We as journalists want to break the embargo and communicate the truth to society. To make our voice more clearly audible, we have decided to found the DFG association. This association represents an opportunity for the organisation of media professionals. We not only want their voice to reach society, we also want their problems to be solved. Journalists experience attacks and violence in every area. By organizing we can fight against them. That is why we founded the association."

"We will strengthen relations with international press organizations"

Altan continued: "First of all, we want to win members for our association and are planning our first congress within four to five months. Therefore, our main work will first be to gain members. Of course we also want to solve the existing problems. We will spread reports about human rights violations. We will also carry out training activities. Since the press is a very important area, we want to attract new generations of journalists. Therefore education is one of our basic goals. Dozens of journalists are in prison in Kurdistan and Turkey. We will be the voice of our imprisoned colleagues and support them in every way."

Altan concluded by saying: "We will strengthen our relations with press associations, institutions and bodies and work together. We will also be audible at the international level. In this context we will strengthen diplomatic work as a press and establish relations with all international press organisations. We appeal to all media professionals: Our door is open, come and join us. This is the association and home of journalists. Anyone can become a member without any preconditions".