Co-mayors of Van react to the pressure on the press

Van Metropolitan Municipality co-mayors Abdullah Zeydan and Neslihan Şedal met with press representatives on the occasion of 3 May World Press Freedom and reacted against pressures.

The co-mayors, Secretary General Cavit Tatar and Press Advisor Serdar Altan came together with the representatives of the press operating in the city on the occasion of 3 May World Press Freedom Day.

Van Metropolitan Municipality Press Advisor Serdar Altan, who made the opening speech of the meeting organised for the first time in Van on 3 May World Press Freedom Day, said: "The reason why we chose such a day is the situation the country is in in terms of press freedom. The oppression against journalists is obvious and press freedom has not progressed for 30 years. There is a struggle against this."

Co-mayor Neslihan Şedal recalled that dozens of journalists were murdered in 1993 when 3 May was declared as press freedom day. Neslihan Şedal said "Many of our friends were killed in unsolved murders" and drew attention to the efforts of women journalists working in the press.

Co-mayor Abdullah Zeydan started his speech by commemorating Celal Başlangıç, a journalist who lost his life last night. Stating that Celal Başlangıç was a brave journalist, Zeydan said: "We commemorate with respect all our press members who were murdered for revealing the truth to society in all its aspects. The democratic level of a country is related to the level of freedom of the press. We are going through a period in which the press is under pressure and journalists are criminalised while doing their duties. Last week three of our press labourers were imprisoned. I hope these pressures will come to an end."

The co-mayors then answered the questions of the press members and listened to their suggestions.