I wish, we could hold this press conference to promote the books which are recently published. I wish none of the slogans which are written on these t-shirts were not real. Unfortunately, right here right now we talk about ‘guilty books’ that are banned and destroyed in Turkey.
Writing by revealing the facts is what is important in the journalism. However, our colleagues who know this duty, are being held in prisons by repressive administrations. We have friends in many parts of the world who have been forced to give up their professions due to pressures. Tens of thousands of innocent people, as well as our journalist colleagues, are paying the bill for the fake coup in Turkey, which is still not clear who is in behind of it. Hundreds of our journalists are being held as prisoners of the regime in Turkish prisons.
We are gathered here to be the voice of journalism that is forced into silence in Turkey. We have friends who are being held behind bars not only in Turkey, but also in Belarus, Brazil, Russia, Ukraine, China and many other countries of the world under repressive regimes due to the pressures of the guardianship.
We were forced to leave our homes. Many of us were the prisoners of the regime. We’ve been captured. In prison, we were prevented to read during the State of Emergency. The books which we wanted were not allowed to be read. We have witnessed that the authors whose names are written on the prisons library lists are kept behind bars. We were taken to the police stations on the grounds that the books we have that the state approved and allowed to be printed were considered objectionable works. More than 300.000 books were destroyed in Turkey. Those who read these books were declared terrorists, while their authors were accused of separatism.
I am one of hundreds of exiled journalists and writers who were forced to leave their country with a backpack. There are millions of voices in our backpacks whose freedom has been taken away, whose freedom of thought and expression has been taken away from their profession, and their freedom of expression has been eliminated. We want to carry this heavy burden that we are carrying on our backs to the agenda of the free world. We know that the most effective force that can stop these attacks on hundreds of our colleagues is the voice of broadcasters who stand for democracy and freedom. Let’s march together for the freedom of journalism and journalists.