Press Council evaluated 2019: Journalism activities were considered “terrorism” again and journalists were sentenced heavy penalties. Journalists spent 2019 in prisons.
The Press Council held a press conference on what happened in the media in 2019, violations of freedom of expression and press, and expectations for 2020. Took the stage at the meeting, President of the Press Council, Pınar Türenç, listed what happened in 2019. Türenç said, “We have seen the blows to the freedom of the press, changing the codes of journalism, the environment where journalism cannot be carried out, unemployed journalists, arbitrary practices, pressures, intimidation policies, imprisonment of journalists, how advertisements and advertisements are shared with the state, and how laws and regulations are pierced. When “’My mentality” understanding became dominant, Turkey was torned apart from the real people. We will not lot this happen” she said.
PRESIDENTIAL NEWS AREA ‘RESTRICTED AREA
They wished “never to have a year like this again”
while accounting for the previous year last year expressed she. “We have
to say that we didn’t get a more heartwarming picture when we completed
2019,” said Türenç. Saying that the press passed through the “ring of
fire” in 2019, Türenç: Journalism activity was again regarded as
‘terrorism’, journalists were again punished with heavy sentences, and
journalists spent 2019 again in prisons. Critical journalism was considered as
‘terrorism’, investigations were opened, our colleagues were arrested.
Journalists’ time was spent in courthouse corridors due to lawsuits filed
against them rather than searching for news.
have been labeled “opposition to power” or even “terrorist”
because of the news they have made and the articles they have written, and the
target has been shown. They were attacked by gunmen, meant their lives, were
lynched, wounded in attacks, hospitalized for days. The ones who recently
attacked journalist Murat İde have already started to waggle their hands and
shake their arms outside. The Presidential news area continued to be the
‘restricted area’ for journalists in 2019. During the press meetings of the
President and other government officials, questions were collected from
journalists beforehand, again through his advisors. Those who were inconvenient
were not given a visa to ask questions. Those identified as objectionable
questions were eliminated. The reporters who were in charge of fulfilling the
right to receive information were not given the right to speak. The principle
of openness and transparency was again ignored in 2019. Journalism was
silenced. The people’s right to learn the truth has been violated despite the law.
“OUR FREEDOM REPORT IS SHAMEFUL”
She drew attention to Turkey’s poor democracy and freedom of the press report. Türenç said, “We are 157th among 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index. We are 110th among 167 countries in the World Democracy Index. Among the countries where most journalists in prison found in Turkey, China, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Syria after the 5th row. To sum up, Turkey could not get out in the black and gray table in 2019
“PRESS IS UNDER ECONOMIC SIEGE”
She stated that the media are struggling to survive under the siege of the economic crisis, which is getting worse with increasing costs. Türenç continued his statement as follows: Especially the written press is experiencing a severe economic crisis than it has ever encountered. While hundreds of local newspapers and televisions are closed, a few national newspapers and televisions that are independent from public sources and independent publishing are trying to survive in the aggravating economic conditions. The table is much worse for employees. Newspapers and televisions terminate the business contracts of journalists who have achieved success in their profession, citing economic conditions. Over 10 thousand journalists are unemployed today.
“PRESS RELEASE INSTITUTION IS A FULL PRESSURE ELEMENT”
Stating that “The Press Advertisement Agency (BİK), which is in charge of distributing official ads and advertisements to newspapers fairly and supporting the local press, has lost its autonomous position,” said Türenç. . Since they are not pro-government, hundreds of local newspapers, which BİK has sentenced to cut ads, have either been closed or continue to be published by damaging. An example of these practices of BİK is the cutting of the ads of the hundreds of local newspapers as well as the publications of Evrensel, Cumhuriyet and Birgün newspapers.
“PRESIDENTIAL SYSTEM RUINS FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION”
“Unfortunately, our democracy and freedom of expression and press are being destroyed every day with antidemocratic practices in the Presidential Government System brought with the promise of more democracy and freedom,” she said. Türenç continued as follows: There are new obstacles to freedom of expression and press every day. While censorship and self-censorship hampers journalistic activities, the public’s right to receive news is also ignored. While 90 percent of newspapers and televisions are taken over, their efforts to create “monaural media” scares us all from almost one center. Every way is tried to reach this goal. Institutions such as BIK, Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), which should act according to impartial and objective criteria according to the judiciary, laws and regulations that should be independent in the democratic state of law, are kept alive with the appearance of a ruling stick against the press. The judiciary starts an instant investigation for news, columns, and even social media posts that the political administration does not like. Then, heavy penalty and indemnity indemnity cases are opened. In the indictments, journalism activity is shown as ‘terrorist act’ and ‘aggravated life imprisonment’ penalties can be imposed in the end.
RECORD INCREASE ON DEFAMATION CASES
Türenç said, “The number of cases of insulting the President has reached horrible dimensions. During his seven-year term, 340 cases for insulting Kenan Evren, 207 for insulting Turgut Özal, 158 for insulting Süleyman Demirel, 163 for insulting Ahmet Necdet Sezer, 848 for insulting Abdullah Gül, 17 thousand for insulting Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 406 lawsuits have been filed ”. Using the expression “mountain gave birth to a mouse” regarding judicial reform, Türenç pointed out that the pressures on critical journalism continue. Türenç said, “RTÜK is used as the stick of power on television channels that are free and critical journalists. RTÜK unfairly applies broadcasts to stop broadcasting and administrative fines to channels that criticize the government in broadcasts and makes very heavy invoices for critical journalism. RTÜK’s political point of view, heavy broadcasting stopping and administrative fines, dozens of local broadcasters are also dealing with free broadcasting and even license cancellations are made. The same RTÜK does not even raise complaints of violations about the channels supporting the government. However, no penalty is given in the Supreme Council by the votes of the representatives of the majority. Expressing the injustices in RTÜK, the Supreme Board member cannot be hosted. It is an example of the fact that journalist Faruk Verici is only talking about what is happening at the institution, and that the membership of the Supreme Board is reduced by a controversial vote.
“MY MENTALITY” COMPREHENSION RULES
Speaking about the press cards, Türenç said, “The regulation was changed, subjective criteria were introduced instead of objective criteria in order to obtain a press card. Representatives of journalist professional organizations were removed from the press card commission. The press card of 3 thousand 804 journalists was canceled by this commission, where real journalists are not represented today. ” Türenç, lastly said: India Press Council representatives at a meeting who we tell violations taking place in Turkey “my heart hurs” said he. There is an embarrassing picture on the freedom of the press. Today we are at the beginning of a new decade in 2020. In Turkey, ‘My mentality’ approach was detached from real people when the ruling. We will not allow this.