RSF urges EU leaders to defend media freedom in Turkey

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is launching an ad campaign that calls for a firm stand in defence of media freedom in Turkey by the European Union’s leaders, who will meet for an EU summit in Malta on Friday (3 February)

“Can we carry on as if nothing is happening in Turkey?” the campaign visuals ask in five languages – French, English, Spanish, German and Swedish. They show Angela Merkel, Jean-Claude Juncker, François Hollande, Theresa May, Mariano Rajoy, Donald Tusk and Stefan Löfven, who are urged to stop turning a blind eye to the unprecedented crackdown on Turkish journalists.

The campaign ads will be posted on social networks (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and will appear in the French national newspapers.

The unprecedented persecution of Turkey’s journalists and media has been under way ever since last July’s abortive coup attempt.

Pluralism is in the process of disappearing after six months under a state of emergency. More than 100 journalists have been put in prison, where they continue to await the start of their trials. No fewer than 149 media outlets and 29 publishing houses have been closed arbitrarily. At least 775 press cards have been rescinded and the passports of hundreds of journalists have been withdrawn without any form of judicial proceedings. Censorship of the Internet and social networks has reached unparalleled levels.

Turkey’s neighbours cannot remain indifferent to such a crackdown in a country that is a candidate for admission to the European Union. European leaders have a political and moral duty to do everything in their power to rescue journalism in Turkey.

Turkey is ranked 151st out of 180 counties in RSF’s latest World Press Freedom Index.

Published on
Updated on 16.03.2017