The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the recent crackdown on Kurdish journalists ahead of Turkey’s May elections, calling Turkey the world’s largest open prison for journalists.
Speaking to Serkan Demirel from Medya Haber TV, IFJ President Dominique Pradalié stated that the country’s crackdown on journalists is unacceptable and that the ongoing attacks on Kurdish journalists are part of the Turkish government’s policy to suppress the demands of the Kurdish people.
“We have been closely analysing the last few years, during which the Turkish regime has arrested many journalists, judges and lawyers and forced many into exile. We say that Turkey is the world’s largest open prison for journalists, especially Kurdish journalists,” Pradalié said.
She went on to say that all honest and independent journalists are targeted by authoritarian regimes, with Kurdish journalists being the primary victims of the war conditions in the country, which has a profound impact on the situation of all citizens. Pradalié emphasised that the government is attacking those who give voice to the Kurds.
The IFJ’s condemnation comes after politically motivated police raids against journalists, politicians, lawyers and artists in the lead up to the elections. Pradalié stated that the recent arrest of 10 colleagues was “absolutely unacceptable and shocking” and that the IFJ supports and stands with its detained colleagues. She called on the world to focus on the situation in Turkey, saying that journalists must be able to do their work, especially during an election period.
The IFJ is the largest representative body of journalists in the world with some 600,000 members in 150 countries. Pradalié was elected president on 2 June 2022.