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February 01, 2016

Turkey: Free detained journalists!

type: Petition
by: Deniz Zehra Tavli

Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been waging a methodical crackdown on the media in Turkey for years. Erdogan is persecuting journalists of all colours in an increasingly ferocious manner in the name of combatting terrorism and defending state security. Such as Can Dündar, the editor­ in ­chief of the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet, and his Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gül. Both journalists have been held since the evening of 26 November 2015. They are charged with spying and terrorism because they published evidence of arms deliveries by the Turkish intelligence services to Islamist groups in Syria in May 2015.

The arrest of these two journalists is the latest extreme to which political use of the Turkish judicial system has been taken. Many journalists have been detained on spurious charges of terrorist propaganda and insulting President Erdogan. The regime has also been using economic levers to put growing pressure on the media, while draconian laws have been passed. Turkey is ranked 149th out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.

Sign the petition and appeal to the Turkish authorities to free Can Dündar and Erdem Gül without delay​, to drop all charges against them, and to free all other journalists who are currently detained in connection with their journalism or the opinions they have expressed!