IFJ Supports Union of Press Workers in North Cyprus in Defense of Journalists Rights and Press Freedom

<center>UNION OF PRESS WORKERS PROTESTED LAWSUITS FILED AGAINST JOURNALISTS AND CALLED THE GOVERNMENT TO REMOVE LAWS ENABLING CIVILIANS TO BE TRIALLED IN MILITARY COURTS</center>


Union of Press Workers (Basin-Sen) in North Cyprus today held a demonstration, protesting the lawsuits filed against journalist, and made a statement calling the government to remove the laws and acts, which enable civilians to be trialled in military courts, and started a petition through out the country with this demand.


Members of Basin-Sen this morning held a protest meeting in front of the Turkish Cypriot assembly, with banners which said, “we will not stop talking”, and presented the statement to the speaker of the assembly.


Protestors then marched to the statue of Dr Kucuk – who was a journalist alongside of being a community leader and left their pens and cameras.


The same statement was also given to the Prime Minister.


Basin Sen’s full statement demanding removal of outdated laws and opening a petition is:


“WE WILL NOT STOP TALKING”

While Turkish Cypriots said yes to referendum held on 24th April 2004, alongside with peace in Cyprus, they also accepted to enter the EU, which is the best possible structure which the humanity was able to achieve. However, those who did not understand this and did not want to understand it – supporters of the status quo – are trying to put such an outdated mentality in against the Turkish Cypriot people by using the laws and filing lawsuits against journalists. It should be known that this effort towards reversing the flow of the history to medieval ages is futile.


What should be done is, that entire living conditions should be raised to standards of EU norms, disclosed by the will put forward by the Turkish Cypriot people. Within this concept, we as the Basin-Sen are demanding removal of entire outdated laws, which enable to file lawsuits against journalist because of the stories they wrote and because of disclosing their opinions and thoughts. We do not think that any of political parties represented in the assembly or independent MPs will oppose to these changes. We want to believe that the assembly as a whole, will show the will to change these codes - which hangs upon the entire Turkish Cypriots as the sword of Damocles, although it seams to be pointed at journalists and intellectuals- and at least harmonize them with EU norms.


With the recent lawsuits filed against tens of journalists, we the bearers of below signatures, who will never accept those outdated laws which enable to file lawsuits against journalists, (Press labourers), openly state that, we all wrote that those articles who are subject to criminal cases, we all allow them to be published and/or will allow them to be published.


Press Statement Issued by the Union of Press Workers (Basin-Sen)