‘Stop Targeting Press and Cease Police Brutality’ Demands Journalists' Union of Turkey

EFJ affiliate The Journalists' Union of Turkey (TGS - Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikasi),

and the Journalists Platform, have issued a statement following a series of violent and unwarranted attacks against journalists during the unrest in Turkey in recent weeks:

"During the police attack yesterday in Taksim, Star Haber correspondent Osman Terkan's finger was broken when it was hit by the gas canister. Star Haber correspondent Murat Uslu was also wounded on his abdomen by a rubber bullet fired by a cop targeted from 10 meters.

We have been informed that at the end of the police intervention, which took place throughout the whole night, journalist Ümit Akba? was badly wounded by a gas canister which hit his face and meant he was hospitalized. Journalist Ahmet ??k was also shot in the head by a gas canister and two foreign journalists received chest wounds. During the incidents which have taken place over the last 15 days, at least 15 of our colleagues have been wounded.

We protest against these police attacks against journalists, especially targeted shootings.

The Prime Minister caused the incidents to escalate rather than listening to the messages from those involved in the demonstrations. These demonstrations were organised as peaceful protests as long as the police did not attack.

We condemn the Prime Minister for his provocative and hateful speeches targeting both social segments and the journalists.

We invite all citizens to act prudently, to keep up with legitimate and legal action, and not to take part in any act of violence.

We request that both the demonstrators and the security forces avoid physical interventions and speeches targeting the journalists under any circumstances.

We demand that media owners take all necessary measures to provide all required equipment to ensure the security of the lives of our colleagues.

We call on the media houses to cease single-sided and inducing broadcasting policies, to stop being instruments for the disinformation efforts of other groups, particularly those in political power, and to avoid mediating the provocative and hateful speeches.

In accordance with the internationally agreed code of conducts of journalism, we stress that the main duty of a journalist is "to respect the right of the public to learn about the facts" and we issue a reminder of the following main principle included in the Declaration of Rights and Obligations of Journalists of Turkey:

"The journalist shall defend the respect towards primarily the peace, democracy and human rights, universal values of the humanity, multi-vocality and differences. Shall avoid publications inciting the hate and hostility among people, communities and nations."