Press organizations condemn seizure of Ozgurlukcu Demokrasi

International press freedom organizations condemned Turkey’s seizure of Ozgurlukcu Demokrasi newspaper. 

Turkey appointed a trustee to the Ozgurlukcu Demokrasi newspaper and Gun Printing House on Wednesday following a police raid on the newspaper’s offices in Istanbul. 

Several international press organization’s condemned seizure of the newspaper. 

Carles Torner, Executive Director of PEN International: The Turkish authorities must halt their sustained repression of Kurdish culture and language. We are highly alarmed by the onslaught on Kurdish and pro-Kurdish media outlets and journalists that has intensified dramatically since the crackdown on freedom of expression since the attempted coup of July 2016, and now reached a new low point with this takeover of Özgürlükçü Demokrasi.

International Press Institute (IPI)’s Turkey Advocacy Coordinator Caroline Stockford: “IPI strongly condemns yesterday’s raid and the government’s tactic of shutting down Özgürlükçü Demokrasi in an apparently illegal manner in order to silence dissenting voices in the run-up to the presidential elections."

Katie Morris, Head of Europe and Central Asia Programme at ARTICLE 19: “The takeover of Özgürlükçü Demokrasi restricts the space for freedom of expression even further in Turkey and curtails the right of the public to access information on issues of public interest, particularly in relation to the on-going conflict in the South East of the country. We call for the authorities to cease harassing this newspaper and restore much needed media freedom in Turkey.”

Antonella Napoli member of Articolo 21 and coordinator of Free Turkey Media in Italy: “This latest act against freedom press confirms that Erdogan wants to repress any free voice in Turkey. A firm position in Europe is needed to make pressure the Turkish government to restore the rule of law as soon as possible with the cessation of the state of emergency,”