Press Freedom Under Siege: More Journalists Face Prosecution in Turkey”

21 Apr 2024
Press Freedom Under Siege: More Journalists Face Prosecution in Turkey”

Another journalist in Turkey is confronting criminal prosecution for the publishing of news and opinion.

Journalist Oktay Candemir faces investigation following complaint filed by Abdulahat Arvas, the AKP Van Metropolitan Municipality Candidate, resulted in an investigation being launched against journalist Oktay Candemir on charges of “insulting a public official” during the local elections. However, it is important to note that Arvas does not hold any public office.

During his statement, Candemir emphasized the importance of press freedom and stated, “Abdulahat Arvas is a politician, and I exercised my right to criticize individuals of public interest, which falls within the scope of press freedom.”

Candemir raised concerns about the impact of the investigations and lawsuits on his ability to practice journalism. He expressed his frustration with the pressures faced by journalists, saying: “The government has been consistently exerting pressure on journalists for a significant period of time. We observe the frequent use of legal measures against journalists. Every news article or social media post we publish is immediately treated as a criminal act. Journalists are being detained and arrested. In recent events in Van, we witnessed police officers attacking journalists who were documenting incidents, attempting to hinder their work.”

Over the past decade, hundreds of journalists have been indicted, convicted, or imprisoned for news coverage deemed undesirable by the Turkish state. Turkish state must stop the systematic harassment and intimidation of journalists and media workers, who are simply doing their job and exercising their right to freedom of expression.

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