IFJ Protests to Turkish Prime Minister Over Strike in Local Media Company

Recommended actions for EFJ/IFJ members are below the letter

Mr. Tayyip Erdogan

Prime Minister of Turkey

By Fax :

+90-312-417 04 76

Brussels, 29 January 2004

Dear Excellency,

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the global organisation of journalists representing over 500,000 journalists worldwide and its regional organisation, the European Federation of Journalists, are deeply concerned over the situation of the journalists and other workers at the Star TV and Star newspaper. We are calling for your Government to take the necessary measures to allow the companies to carry out the payment of salaries to their employees.

According to our information, several dozens of employees have been on hunger strike in the past weeks and some had to go to hospital after their strike. The reason for this is that employees could not get their regular salaries for a period of seven months. The revenues of Star TV and Star newspaper are blocked by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency (BDDK). In mid-2003, the activities of the energy companies (CEAS and Kepez) and the bank (Imar Bank) owned by the family of Uzan, who is also the owner of the Star media companies, were ceased by a decision of your Government.

On the other hand, televisions companies in Turkey should give a share out of their advertisement revenues to the Radio and Television High Council (RTUK). However, the BDDK did not give permission to Star TV to get money to deposit the RTUK share. This puts the Star TV frequency at risk and due to financial difficulties the Star newspaper decreased the number of pages from 28-31 to 4, in order to save paper.

The Turkiye Gazeteciler Sendikasi, the IFJ affiliate in Turkey, supports the journalists and media workers at Star company in their industrial action and it is concerned by the consequences of the hunger strike on their health.

The IFJ reminds the Government of Turkey of its responsibility to freedom of the press. We ask for further information on the reasons for blocking the revenues of

Star companies and we call your Government to find an arrangement regarding the situation of its employees. Any further hostility toward our colleagues of the Star Company would be considered as an act of political pressure on a media company.

Yours sincerely,


IFJ/EFJ General Secretary

Recommended action for IFJ/EFJ members:

Send appeals:

  • Expressing solidarity with journalists and media workers of Star company

  • Calling the Government of Turkey to find an arrangement for the payback of the salaries of the Star company employees

  • Remind the Government of Turkey to respect the principle independence and freedom of the media.

    Appeals to:

    Mr Tayyip Erdogan

    Prime Minister of Turkey

    By Fax :

    +90-312-417 04 76

    +90-312-417 05 73

    For more information please contact IFJ Office at ifj@ifj.org

    Please copy appeals to the IFJ Office at ifj@ifj.org