Reporters Without Borders (RSF) have launched a global-wide campaign in support of the imprisoned journalists in Turkey.
Several Turkish journalists have been controversially charged and arrested in Turkey over ‘spying’ and “divulging state secrets”.
In late Novermber, the Cumhuriyet Daily’s Can Dundar and Erden Gul were arrested following the newspaper’s report of a convoy of trucks – linked to Turkish intelligence – carrying boxes of weapons and ammunition to be sent to extremists fighting against the Syrian government.
Dundar, who Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan personally filed a criminal complaint against, tweeted “We have been arrested. Don’t worry these are medals of honour to us”.
Both Dundar and Gul have been accused of aiding a terrorist organisation and face multiple life sentences.
Just one week prior to the arrests, the Cumhuriyet Daily had been awarded the Media Watchdog’s 2015 Press Freedom prize. Dundar received the award on behalf of the newspaper.
On Monday, Secretary General of the RSF, Christophe Deloire spoke to Today’s Zaman stating that Dundar and Gul are not the only journalists under attack in Turkey.
This includes the Huriyet’s reporter, Ertugal Ozkok who faces up to six years in jail for “slanderous” criticism of Erdogan.
“Dozens of others are in prison for doing Journalism. We are struggling to persuade the Turkish government to release these Journalists. The RSF has launched a global campaign to bring about their release” Deloire said.
The RSF website has held a petition for their release which currently has the signatures of over 17,000 people, including public figures such as US linguist, Noam Chomsky and US journalist, Carl Bernstein.
On Tuesday the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) will hold a meeting at the Brussels Press Club to discuss press freedom in Turkey and the EU’s response to the issue.