The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), together with its affiliate in Turkey, the Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikasi (TGS) has today expressed its outrage at the dismissal of senior Turkish journalist, Yavuz Baydar, from the daily newspaper Sabah.
“It is a scandal that such a long-standing experienced journalist has been dismissed for taking a critical stance against the government,” said EFJ Vice-President Nadezda Azhgikhina, in Istanbul to attend the Second Freedom for Journalists Congress, organised by the Turkish Journalists' Freedom Platform with the TGS as its term chair.
Held on the 105th anniversary of the abolition of official censorship by the Ottoman empire, the congress reviewed the state of press freedom and the prolific use of tough anti-terror legislation to intimidate journalists resulting in widespread self-censorship. (see also today’s IFJ/EFJ statement).
“Yavuz Baydar introduced the practice of ombudsmanship into Turkey’s media environment in 1999. His writing in Today Zaman and his work as a broadcaster has distinguished him as a fearless journalist and it is ironic that while the abolition of censorship is being “commemorated”, it is exercised in such an aggressive manner by Turkish media themselves. Turkey’s democracy needs courageous journalists like Baydar and many others who have been dismissed these days in Turkey to tell the truth,” said the EFJ.
The Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) Istanbul Branch released a statement on 22 July saying that at least 22 media staff were laid off and 37 forced to quit work during Gezi Resistance protests across Turkey.
Baydar wrote an article for the New York Times, "In Turkey, media bosses are undermining democracy", which dealt with the key issue of private media acting as implementers of state censorship.
Baydar recently spoke up for journalists who are fighting for press freedom in Turkey at the European Commission Speak-Up conference, in Brussels, focusing on media freedom in the Western Balkans and Turkey..
For more information, please contact EFJ on + 32 2 235 22 02
The European Federation of Journalists is the European group of the International Federation of Journalists. It represents over 320,000 journalists in 37 countries.