“We will not allow the honor of journalism to be degraded”
“Despite all pressures and crackdown, there are journalists who rely on the universal rules of the press instead of government regulations. These friends, who raise their voices over the injustices, will not allow the honor of journalism to be degraded."
The Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) issued a written statement on the occasion of May 3, World Press Freedom Day. The statement titled “Today is World Press Freedom Day, But the Press Is Not Free” demanded that unfair practices against journalists cease as soon as possible.
The statement remarked that the media plays an important role in enlightening the societies and checking the governments. “Media workers are always the target of the governments because of their role in countries where there is no democracy. In these countries, the governments do not allow the press to carry out its mission, they want the press organizations to be in their service and under their control. For this reason, they shape the laws regarding the press based on their own interests.”
'PRESS FREEDOM IS FURTHER DECLINING'
The statement pointed out that Turkey is one of the countries that always try to take control of the press:
“In Turkey, 90-95 percent of the press is under the control of the government and journalists cannot work freely. Journalists who want to do their jobs freely are also targeted by the government and their activities are suppressed. For this reason, Turkey's ranking in freedom of the press is getting worse each day.
This year, we celebrate May 3, World Press Freedom Day, again with pressures and crackdown. The ruling AKP government is competing with countries that do not have press freedom to suppress freedom of the press, and is doing everything to get to the bottom in this regard. Thus, Turkey was ranked 153rd in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index of the Reporters Without Borders, one of the worst countries in the world.
On the eve of the World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, the General Directorate of Security issued a circular, banning video footage of police violence in demonstrations and events. According to the circular, an investigation will be launched and criminal sanctions will be imposed against those who take photos and record video footage of police officers during protests and events. We have already seen first outcomes of this unlawful circular in practice. During the May 1 celebrations, the police threatened and detained the journalists who took photos and shot videos, citing the circular issued.
Previously, the pens and notebooks of journalists were seized by the police for security reasons in many protests and events. With this circular, cameras of journalists will be seized. The authorities tell the journalists "You can do journalism without using journalism tools".
Despite all these pressures and crackdown, there are also journalists who rely on the universal rules of the press instead of the government regulations. These friends, who raise their voices over the injustices, will not allow the honor of journalism to be degraded.
On this occasion, we demand that these unfair practices against journalists end as soon as possible, and we congratulate the journalists fighting for freedom on May 3, World Press Freedom Day.”