Turkey: rapporteurs question arrests of leading journalists

Ingebjørg Godskesen (Norway, EC) and Nataša Vuckovic (Serbia, SOC), co-rapporteurs for PACE’s post-monitoring dialogue with Turkey, have questioned the arrests of two prominent journalists, Can Dündar, Editor-in-Chief of the Cumhuriyet newspaper, and Erdem Gül, its Ankara correspondent, as well as the eight-year sentence facing Bülent Kenes, Editor-in-Chief of Today’s Zaman, for "insulting the President".

"These are yet more additional, regressive moves which will have a chilling effect on journalists, in a context already marked by continuous and worrying restrictions on freedom of the media,” they said.

“In a democracy, journalists should be able to report in an environment free from intimidation or prosecution. We urge the Turkish authorities to guarantee freedom of the press, which is a cornerstone of democracy.”

“We also call on them to align Turkish law with Council of Europe standards and to ensure that the law is applied in line with the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights."