Journalist Bulut: The AKP-MHP regime is afraid of a free press

Journalist Zeynel Bulut said that the free press shows the truth and exposes the real face of the state which is why it became the target of the government. The AKP-MHP government, he said, is afraid of the facts and wants to keep them in the dark.

Pressure on journalists in Kurdistan and Turkey is increasing by the day. Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) executive, Zeynel Bulut, spoke about the threats and pressures against journalists. From the 1990s, Bulut said, the pressure on journalists and the free press has never stopped. "If we look at the situation in today's Kurdistan and Turkey we see that the AKP-MHP has affected the entire society and has imposed its politics. There are enormous pressures on the society. We, as free press, want to expose these policies and the pressure carried out by the government by showing the facts and thus the real face of the state.

Bulut added: “Like the society, our news and reports too are crashed under oppression. We, free press workers, face pressure and threats. This attitude shows that the government is seriously afraid of the facts. Because of this fear they are experiencing, they want to target the free press and keep our voice down. However, they will never achieve their goal. Because the pressures against the free press is something we have seen since the 1990s. Journalists struggle for the people, to reveal the truth. This is a very important challenge. We will continue to do whatever we can and we will never leave our people alone."

Bulut said that the free press became the target of the state because it revealed the true face of the state, and continued as follows: "Citizens Servet Turgut and Osman Şiban were tortured and thrown from army helicopters in the countryside of Çatak district of Van. Journalists were detained and arrested for uncovering these events. Again, when Jinnews journalist uncovered the truth about a 15-year-old girl who was sexually abused by 27 people, including village guards, police and soldiers, in Gercüş, province of Batman, access to the Jinnews agency's website was blocked. Newspaper and sites are constantly blocked, all because they reveal the facts.”

Bulut added: “We, as Dicle Fırat Journalists Association, have said that in the last month alone, 91 journalists are in prison. Again, the trials of 47 journalists are still pending. A few days ago, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) released its report on journalists under pressure. According to the report, 387 journalists are in prison as of today due to their profession. 61 percent of the imprisoned journalists are in five countries. These countries are China, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Vietnam and Syria.

Again, according to the report, 54 journalists were kidnapped and 4 journalists are missing. According to RSF data 13 journalists imprisoned in Turkey are in jail for exercising their profession. Turkey ranks 154 out of 180 countries, for free press. Given this background we can say that Turkey is once again the biggest prison for journalists. The journalists detained are being held in prison for uncovering the realities of that country. No journalist was arrested for any other reason. They were imprisoned simply for being opposition press and for revealing the facts."

Bulut added that “there is no freedom of thought, human love, equality and justice in the government of this country. Those who demand these are becoming the target of the state in Turkey. Of course, it is the free press that has become the voice of these groups. Because of all these, the AKP-MHP government does not want this policy to be revealed and wants to silence the free press that strives to expose it.”

Bulut ended his remarks by saying that “despite the pressure, threats and arrests of journalists, free press workers do not give up their struggle and convey the facts to the public. However, the government wants to create a single-color press. The dirty and fake news of the pro-media media is frustrated by the realities of the free press. In the 1990s, people were being thrown from helicopters. Again, journalists who revealed these facts were arrested. Despite all the oppression, arrests and attacks since the 90s, the tradition of free press is still very much alive."