The International Publishers Association is alarmed at reports that the Turkish Government is shutting down and seizing the independent and critical media outlets of the Koza-IPek Media Group, including Kanaltürk and Bugün TV, ahead of the forthcoming general election in that country.
Metin Celal, President of the Turkish Publishers Association (TPA) said, ‘The police raid on and closing down of Koza-Ipek is another attempt to silence all dissident voices and critical publications in Turkey. The TPA defends freedom of expression against all such pressure. We also stand with our colleagues from Kanaltürk and Bugün TV and raise our voices together for a free press and freedom to publish in Turkey.’
IPA President, Richard Charkin said, ‘Turkey already has a woeful record when it comes to media freedom, regularly topping the list of countries where journalists are jailed or threatened with jail merely for doing their jobs. The government needs to reflect on how its current attacks on freedom of expression are undermining its terrible reputation even further.’
IPA Secretary General, José Borghino said, ‘The Turkish Government’s moves against independent journalism come at a time when other dissident voices including publishers, writers and academics are also being threatened and harassed. It is a blatant clampdown on any view that might be critical of the ruling regime. The Turkish people deserve better and the IPA stands firm and unequivocal in support of those who are speaking out in Turkey for freedom to publish and freedom of expression.’
Chair of the IPA’s Freedom to Publish Committee, Ola Wallin said, ‘The free press is a cornerstone of democracy, and the Turkish authorities’ recent attacks on national newspapers is an attack on democracy itself. These attacks must come to an end immediately and allow the Turkish people to enjoy independent reporting on the events in their own country, as is their right.’