Swedish journalists refuse AKP’s invitation
12 out of the 15 Swedish journalists invited to Turkey by the AKP to be informed on the July 15 coup attempt have refused the invitation.
The task to organize journalists in Sweden and take them to Turkey was given to MİT agent Metin Altınışık, who was rewarded by the AKP with a yellow press card for his informant work. Altınışık has been working for İHA news agency for a long time and he spent great efforts to get Swedish journalists to attend AKP’s July 15 events, but despite all his efforts he couldn’t convince them. The Turkish state’s invitation was accepted by only 3 “journalists”, two of them from Palestine and one from Mexico.
AKP had a 15 person quota for Swedish journalists. All costs of the visit between July 11-17 were to be covered by the Turkish government and they were to be hosted in the 5-star Hotel Anadolu Downtown in Ankara.
SWEDISH JOURNALISTS REFUSE AKP’S INVITATION
Swedish journalists, who are aware of Erdoğan and the AKP government’s violations of freedom of expression and human rights and massacres against the Kurdish people, refused AKP’s invitation. Palestinian Qais Qadri who is a reporter for the website WAFA, Rashid Alhajeh of Palestinian heritage who works with the Al Hourriyah newspaper in Syria and Mexican Jorge Navarro Lucio who is a reporter for the Macroeconomia journal in Mexico accepted the invitation and went to Turkey.
In 2013, Metin Altınışık had arranged a visit for 14 journalists under orders from the then-EU Minister Egemen Bağış and all the costs were again covered by the Turkish government, which had caused a stir in Sweden and started discussions on journalistic ethics.
Articles criticizing the visit were published in the Swedish media and one journalist in the visit was fired from the Swedish state television.
OPEN LETTER TO ERDOĞAN FROM 33 MEDIA INSTITUTIONS
Swedish journalists not only refused the AKP’s invitation, but they also sent an open letter to Erdoğan for the anniversary of the July 15 coup attempt, condemning the violations of freedom of expression and human rights in Turkey.
The letter, titled “Release the journalists, Erdoğan”, was signed by editors in chief for 33 publications and was covered widely on Swedish media.
The editors in chief stated that they are highly concerned for press freedom and human rights in Turkey and said: “Exactly one year ago today, Turkey, who is a candidate for EU membership, experienced a coup attempt. Even though the coup attempt was of military nature, you started a witch hunt against people who think differently and who don’t agree with your worldview. Thousands of people were accused of treason, espionage and supporting the coup for thinking differently.”
Representatives from the media organizations are pointing to the violations of press freedom and freedom of expression with concrete data and numbers and say that 95% of the media is under the regime’s control and press freedom and freedom of expression are practically nonexistent.
RELEASE THE JOURNALISTS
The editors in chief said they are very concerned for the situation of their colleagues and demanded all thought criminals, starting with journalists, be released, confiscated property of shut-down media institutions be returned and obstacles against freedom of expression be lifted.
The letter addressed to Erdoğan was signed by editors in chief of publications like Aftonbladet, Expressen, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet, whose combined sales exceed several million, and the Sweden Publishers Club Chairperson Anna Hedenmo.