EFJ Concerns over Turkish News Agency's Anti-union Tactics


the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has hit out at the management of

state-run Anatolian Agency after reports of severe management pressure on

members of the Turkish Union of Journalists (TGS), which has driven the union's

President to threaten a hunger strike.


Ipekci, President of the EFJ affiliate in Turkey, has announced plans to go on

hunger strike in front of the General Directorate of the state-run Anatolian

Agency from 12:00 today (Friday March 9). He says the move is in protest

against the way in which union members have been put under pressure by the

government-assigned management of the news agency to resign their membership of

the TGS.


is understood that the union President has been singled out by management as a

target in a campaign of intimidation intended to undermine support for the

union. Ercan Ipekci has been a leading figure in the campaign challenging the

imprisonment of more than 100 journalists in Turkey. This has resulted in him

and his union being targeted by the Turkish authorities, as proven by a recent

speech by the Turkish Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdo?an.


have been many reports of the tactics used by the state and employers in Turkey

to intimidate union members and obstruct the ability of trade unions to

represent their members. This case has the stink of yet another example of the

intolerable pressure under which trade unionists in Turkey have to

operate," said EFJ President Arne König. "It is deeply concerning

that people feel that they have to go to such extreme measures in order to

stand up for their principles."


to introduce collective bargaining at the Sabah newspaper were undermined in

2009 when pressure was put on trade union members to resign their membership. A

similar case happened in Olay Medya last year.


report published by the International Trade Union Congress in February found

that "legal protection from acts of interference [in Turkey] is weak and

sanctions for anti-union discrimination are not dissuasive. The state and the

employers make use of various anti-union practices that have weakened trade

unions' negotiating rights."


the trials of journalists in the so-called OdaTV case are set to resume next

Monday, 12 March, the EFJ protests against the intimidation of TGS members,

fully supports the union's President and member of the EFJ Steering Committee,

Ercan Ikpeci, and calls on the European authorities to remind the Turkish

government that press freedom and free trade unionism are essential values of


The EFJ is the European group of the

International Federation of Journalists. It represents over 260,000

journalists in 30 countries.

For more information contact the EFJ at +32 2