An MP for the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) replaced jailed journalist Aziz Oruç, one of the 16 Kurdish journalists remanded in custody since 8 June, to make street interviews for the TV programme he hosted.
Remziye Tosun went out on to the street in Turkey’s Kurdish-majority city of Diyarbakır (Amed) to ask people about their reactions to the journalists being arrested.
The Diyarbakır deputy said:
“The Free Press will go on reporting no matter what the conditions are. Today, as the deputies of Amed, we will report on their behalf. We will make free news reports on their behalf. So let’s go and hear what the people think about the situation.”
She had the following replies from the people she interviewed on the street:
“The issue is freedom of the press. One should be able speak, express an opinion. Nothing can be achieved by arresting people. God willing, they will all be released.”
“It’s not fair that they target news reporters while there are so many grave issues and problems in the country. There’s nothing more to say..”
“I guess we’re at a point where words have no meaning anymore. In Turkey we’re faced with a constantly expanding problem, and now it has resulted in the restriction of the freedom of journalists. This has got to be reversed as soon as possible.”
“They are jailing everyone who tells and shows the facts. Let them know that we will always stand by the people they jail.”
“Kurds must be treated the same way Turks are treated. Kurds must be respected and listened to just as the Turks are. We’re not guilty just because we were born Kurds.”
“There’s nothing left in the name of law. They act on instructions. This isn’t very hopeful for the future. I, for instance, was recently detained when I got off the plane. I spent the night in custody over a court case in which I was already acquitted.”
“How can we speak about rights in Turkey when there is no equality? We can’t defend our rights in a place where there’s no equality.”