EFJ Welcomes Release of Journalist in Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ)  has welcomed yesterday's release by the Istanbul main court of Soner Yalcin, international journalist and owner of the Odatv web news-site.

Soner Yalcin was first imprisoned in February 2011 along with nine other journalists working for the news-site. They were accused of being involved in the alleged 'Ergenekon' plot to over throw the government. The defendants always maintained that the case was an excuse to bully independent and critical journalists and an attack on press freedom.

One journalist, Yalcin Kucuk remains in prison along with former intelligence officer Hanefi Avci.

The EFJ has been campaigning for the release of journalists jailed in Turkey because of their work. At one stage in 2012 over 100 journalists were in prison, and despite recent high-profile releases today there are still around 70 behind bars.

In some cases journalists have been held for many months, even for years,  on end awaiting trial. Some have been released in recent months, though the charges still remain and the journalists, including Soner Yalcin, still have the prospect of trials hanging over them.

EFJ President Arne König welcomed yesterday's news: "It is good to hear that Soner Yalcin is now free, but our campaign for press freedom in Turkey must continue. Still journalists are behind bars. Still the prospects of charges and jail are used to stifle critical voices. We must ensure that our colleagues in Turkey are not forgotten and that the struggle for media freedom in the country will continue, until we see major changes from the recent situation."

Find out more about the EFJ campaign to set Turkish journalists free at: http://europe.ifj.org/en/pages/turkey-campaign-set-journalists-free

For more information, please contact the EFJ at +32 2 235.2200