The Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) has announced its 2020 report on violations against journalists in Turkey at a press conference. According to the report, in 2020, 79 journalists were detained, 91 were arrested, 19 were attacked, and access restrictions were imposed on 1,960 news items.
DFG co-chair Dicle Müftüoğlu spoke to the Mesopotamia Agency (MA) and highlighted the pressure and difficult conditions of journalists in Turkey. Pointing out that the pressures against journalists have been systematised, Müftüoğlu said, “Custody, arrest, investigation, trial, imprisonment, bans — these await press workers who are not included in the mechanism formed by the government, and who try to make the voices of others heard”.
‘Creating homogeneous journalism’
“Pressure against journalism is also an indicator of the wrong policies”, said Müftüoğlu. “By silencing the press, the rulers are also preventing the public from hearing the truth. Even though the target is press workers, the aim is to enforce silence on the public. That’s why they want to create an homogeneous journalism model”, she said.
Regarding the Kurdish journalists, she underlines the fact that Kurds in Turkey are having serious difficulties. “Pressure on Kurdish journalists is increasing. As in the example of the arrest of five journalists Van (Wan), Kurdish journalists face many obstacles”, she said.
Turkey is among the countries with the most imprisoned journalists, Müftüoğlu, noting that journalists were struggling in 2020 not only with arrests, but also with detentions, investigations and lawsuits.
Müftüoğlu said, “We cannot say that journalists who are not imprisoned can enjoy their freedom. Press workers face a state of imprisonment all the time”.
Censorship and closure
Saying that hundreds of websites have been subjected to censorship and closure due to the news, Müftüoğlu said, “The government can remove the news easily. Thousands of social media accounts are closed and censored. Last issued law was brought social media to representatives of possession requirement in Turkey. Again, the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) hangs over the head of media outlets like the Sword of Damocles”, she said.