'Kurdish press will continue to exist and expose injustices'

Journalists from North Kurdistan celebrate Kurdish Journalist Day on its 122nd anniversary and vowed to continue to exist despite all injustices and repression.

The first issue of a Kurdish newspaper in history, was published 122 years ago. It was then when the foundation of the Kurdish media was laid. The 4-page Kurdish newspaper, published by Mîqdat Mîdhat Bedirxan in Cairo, Egypt, on 22 April 1898, published a total of 31 issues until 1902.

The date in which the first issue of the Kurdistan newspaper was published is celebrated as Kurdish Journalists Day.

As part of Kurdish Journalists Day, ANF talked to some reporters in North Kurdistan.

Jin News journalist Beritan Canözer: When we look back at history, we will see that not many things have changed since then. The Kurdish press has always been targeted and different powers always aimed at silencing it. Kurdish journalists have always resisted and fought against difficulties. Many of our institutions were closed, many of our friends were arrested and murdered. Despite all this, we insisted on working in line with the tradition of free press. When they closed us we reopened our media.

We continued to insist on writing news and publishing papers in Kurdish. It is our language and writing in Kurdish should be our main goal. Every Kurdish journalist must have the insistence and perseverance on this matter. I congratulate our press on Kurdish Journalists Day and reiterate the promise that we will always work on the field.

Mesopotamia News Agency Kurdish editor Bilal Güldem: I commemorate all press martyrs, including Mikdad Mithad Bedirxan, Apê Mûsa, Cengiz Altun, who are the architects of the Kurdish press: we took over their pens and work. Kurdish journalism, which started broadcasting in exile and still continues, is very important. Our perseverance continues to bring news to the people.

During the current process, Kurdish journalists and the Kurdish press have a great responsibility. Despite all the arrests and pressures, the Kurdish press adventure is able to convey the events in the Kurdish territory and the world. Kurdish journalists are trying to bring the truth to people, without stopping, even for a moment, today, during the coronavirus pandemic.

I would like to state that we will be the voice of those who are censored, and of the right struggle of the Kurdish people. In the harsh days of this coranvirus, all my imprisoned colleagues should be free. Happy Kurdish Journalists Day once again to all my colleagues.

Jin News journalist Filiz Zeyrek: We, as free press employees, continue to carry out the Kurdish journalism that we inherited from reporters such as Gurbetelli Ersöz, Musa Anter, Deniz Fırat and Nujiyan, and we continue to tell the truth. The Kurdish press, which has been subjected to oppression and persecution for years, is still exposed to the same pressures today. Many times our newspapers, and TVs have been closed. These attacks, known as a country's black spot, make us press workers even stronger. Because if the press is silenced and the facts are hidden from the public, the system in that country has collapsed. As journalists who think freely and do not refrain from conveying the truth to the public, we will continue to expose injustices.