EFJ writes to EU commissioner condemning Turkey media arrests

The President of the European Federation of Journalists, which for over a year has been running the Set journalists free in Turkey campaign, recently sent a letter to the Commissioner for EU Enlargement, Stefan Fule, with an urgent call for action to end media clampdowns in Turkey.

You can read the letter below, and here is a response written by Stefan Fule, available to download (pdf).

TO:
Commissioner Štefan Füle
DG Enlargement
European Commission

Re: Urgent Call for Action to End Media Clampdown in Turkey

18 June 2013

Dear Commissioner Füle,

We are writing as Presidents of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the world’s largest organisation representing more than 600.000 journalists and its regional group, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) to bring to your attention the serious developments for our colleagues in Turkey.

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Middle East Women’s Conference final resolution

Final Resolution

1. Middle East Women’s Conference

Between 31 May and 2 June, the first Middle East Women’s Conference took place in Amed (Diyarbakir). This event, organized by the Free Democratic Women Movement was titled ‘Jin – Jiyan – Azadi’ (women – life – freedom) and was dedicated to the three Kurdish women political activists who were murdered in Paris on 9 January, Sakine Cansız, Fidan Doğan and Leyla Şaylemez. For three days, 250 women from 26 Middle Eastern and North African countries discussed their experiences in the fight for liberation patriarchal power systems and shared their perspectives on the current political developments in the region.

On the second day, a statement was published in the name of the participants denouncing the police violence in Istanbul. It read; ‘Taksim Square belongs to everyone. The attacks are directed against the democratic rights of the population, like the right to protest. We support all people who fight for the natural environment and the right to breathe.’

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PiK patron exposes Turkish foreign minister in letter

Peace in Kurdistan campaign patron Margaret Owen OBE wrote the letter below in response to Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu’s article in the Guardian yesterday:

JUNE 17TH

Dear Sir,

I write on the eve of flying to Istanbul to observe the fifth hearing of the “unfair” political trial of 45 Kurdish lawyers, indicted simply because they represent their leader Abdullah Ocalan.  I am astonished that the Turkish Foreign Minister can declare (We represent all of Turkey, Monday June 17th) that his government “views peaceful protests as part of a democratic system” and these words on the very day that Erdogan accuses the protestors,( among whom 5,000 have been injured and four killed), of being “manipulated by terrorists”, and organised by foreign trouble-makers. Now he is going to call in the army to suppress all opposition. He will not listen.

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Lawyers’ associations rally around arrested colleagues in Istanbul

After the arrests on Tuesday of at least 47 lawyers at Caglayan Court in Istanbul who were issuing a statement regarding the Gezi Park protests, the European Association for Democracy and Human Rights (ELDH); the Bar Human Rights Committee (BHRC); and the Law Society of England and Wales have all issued statements in support of their colleagues.

All three statements are available below.

European Association for Democracy and Human Rights

London – Düsseldorf, 12 June 2013
Press release
European Lawyers protest

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