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Turkey’s media crackdown escalating – Seán Crowe TD

30 August, 2016 - by Seán Crowe TD

Sinn Féin’s spokesperson on Foreign Affairs, Seán Crowe TD, has expressed concern at the Turkish Government's escalating crackdown on news and media organisations in recent weeks. He said that democrats and those who believe in the concept of a free and independent media need to speak out at what is happening in Turkey.

Deputy Crowe said:

“The cornerstone of any democracy should be a free and independent media, where journalists can operate without the fear of imprisonment or assassination.

“This current Turkish Government has an appalling disregard for civil and human rights, and a complete distain for independent news organisations, journalists, and independent thinkers.

“Since the attempted military coup last month, the Government of President Erdogan has intensified its crackdown on the media, and on anyone who dares to disagree with his narrow view of the world.

“Many human rights groups are now describing Turkey as the world leader in locking up journalists.

“Under the state of emergency laws that it brought in last month, the Turkish Government has closed 102 media outlets, including 45 newspapers, 16 TV channels. 3 news agencies, 23 radio stations, 15 magazines, and 29 publishing houses.

“A total of 2,308 media workers and journalists have lost their jobs and more than 100 journalists have been arrested.

“A recent example of the Turkish Government’s attempt to quell and silence any independent or critical voices can be seen in the forced closure of the pro-Kurdish Özgür Gündem daily newspaper.

“The 25 year old daily has faced a barrage of State intimidation and violence. This month it was forcibly closed down after a heavy handed police raid.

“The Turkish Government’s attacks and intensified crackdown on the media needs to stop. Democrats and those who believe in an independent media need to stand in solidarity with Özgür Gündem, and other media organisations, which are battling against the autocratic censorship being imposed on them.

"We all need to speak up on behalf those who are now being censored and jailed in Turkey."

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