Union asks for solidarity with Turkish journalists
Saturday, March 29, 2014
ANKARA - Some press employers in Turkey have caused their employees to quit, the Turkish Media Laborers Union said Saturday, calling on European colleagues to act with solidarity with journalists it considers victims.
In a letter sent to European journalist unions, the chairman of the Media Laborers Union, Gursel Eser, said some press employers pressured some employees who acted or thought differently from them.
“The victims of this exercise are: Koksal Akpinar who worked for Cihan News Agency (CHA) for 18 years, Semsettin Ozkan who worked at the Zaman Newspaper for 18 years, Salim Goren who worked for CHA for six years, Kubra Kara from CHA, Zeynep Ceylan of Bugun Newspaper, Zaman Newspaper writers Leyla Ipekci and H. Salih Zengin as well as cartoonist Osman Turhan,” Eser said.
The Media Laborers Union said that officials of news organizations who speak of press freedom and democracy had asked their employees to write, draw, comment, tweet and write news stories against the government.
“We condemn vehemently this exercise, which conflicts with freedoms of labor, press and expression and we wish you to be sensitive to these press laborers”, Eser said in the letter.
The letter sent to Association of Professional Journalists, Austrian Newspaper Association, Union of Cyprus Journalists, German Federation of Journalists, Union of Journalists, NDP Nieuwsmedia, Norwegian Union of Journalists and European Federation of Journalists is as follows:
"Some press employers desire to make the maximum profit out of Turkey’s recent political atmosphere. In this context these press employers has caused their employees to quit or resign their jobs who act or think differently from them by exercising mobbing.
The victims of this exercise are; Köksal Akpınar who worked for Cihan News Agency for 18 years and reported evening agency, Şemsettin Özkan who worked in Zaman Newspaper as a Foreign Print Pages Editor for 18 years, Salim Gören who worked as a speaker, an editor and conducted dubbing in CHA Network for 6 years, Cihan News Agency reporter Kübra Kara, economy correspondent of Bugün Newspaper Zeynep Ceylan, Zaman Newspaper writers Leyla İpekçi and H. Salih Zengin and long-turn cartoonist of the same newspaper Osman Turhan.
These press patrons who speak of press freedom and democracy asked their employees to write, draw, comment, tweet and make news against the government.
We condemn vehemently this exercise which contradicts with freedoms of labor, press and expression and we wish you to be sensitive for these press laborers as you show your sensitivity on every occasion happens in Turkey.
The ones who speak of press freedom should now see that press patrons are the obstacles in front of the press freedom
What is more interesting is that the ones who emphasize the individual rights and freedoms most are the ones who performed this exercise in press organs that stick to press freedom.
We as the Media Laborers Union, condemn the ones who exercised this oppression and urge you; our European colleagues to act with solidarity with victim press laborers."
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