International Backing for Demonstration by Turkish Journalists

Journalists around Europe and the world today gave backing to a protest march in Turkey over the country's continuing media crisis. The International Federation of Journalists and its regional organisation, the European Federation of Journalists, gave its full support to the IFJ affiliated Turkish Journalists Union, the Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikasi who are organising the demonstration in co-operation with other professional organizations to take place in Istanbul on January 10, 2002.

The main reason for the march is ongoing media situation in Turkey, which is characterized by massive dismissals of journalists and media workers, lack of respect of standard labour laws and a huge concentration and commercialization in the media.

January 10th will be the 40th anniversary of the Turkey labour law, which also sets the framework for working conditions of Turkish journalists. Since all media owners consistently ignore this law, the aim of the demonstrators is to request from the Turkish authorities to urge media owners to finally respect the law and treat their employees as human beings. The journalists further protest against the waves of dismissals that took place throughout the last year.

"An EFJ mission to Turkey, in support of justified demands by the IFJ affiliates, will hopefully shed light on the media situation, which is in a profound crisis", said Gustl Glattfelder, chair of the EFJ and convener of the mission. The mission will take place in April 26-30 and will investigate the social and professional crisis of the media in Turkey.