DFG and MKG condemn the attacks on free press, call for solidarity

MKG and DFG condemned the operations against free press workers in Belgium and Turkey and called for solidarity.

The Mesopotamia Women Journalists' Association (MKG) and Dicle Fırat Journalists' Association (DFG) made written statements regarding the raid on the studios of Stêrk TV and Medya Haber TV in Belgium and the detention of journalists in Ankara and Istanbul.

The statement by the Mesopotamia Women Journalists' Association said the following:

"We have learned that several journalists were detained in Istanbul and Ankara this morning. The detentions carried out within the scope of an investigation initiated by the Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, the justification of which has not yet been shared with the public, is an unacceptable intervention against freedom of the press. Journalism is one of the indispensable elements of democratic societies. Such arbitrary practices faced by journalists while fulfilling their duty to inform the public is a serious violation of rights that concerns the whole society. These detentions are an attack not only on the detained journalists but also on the freedom of information of the society. As the Mesopotamia Women Journalists Association (MKG), we call on all relevant authorities to end these pressures against journalists and to protect freedom of the press. We also call on national and international human rights organisations to defend the rights of journalists and oppose these arbitrary practices. We demand the immediate release of the detained journalists."

The statement by the Dicle Fırat Journalists' Association includes the following:

"First of all, we would like to state that we do not see it as a coincidence that Kurdish media institutions and Kurdish journalists are once again targeted one day after the Kurdish Journalists' Day on 22 April. Likewise, it would be a mistake to consider these operations independent of the political process. It seems that the political power, which cannot digest the results from the 31 March local elections, plans to overcome its political deadlock by once again turning against the Kurdish people. The first step of this was, as always, to turn towards Free Press employees and media organs.

It is worrying that the attacks on journalistic activities have reached Europe and that a European country, which has always praised itself for its freedom of thought and expression, is today a supporter of attacks targeting our colleagues. This also means that Europe's approach to democracy, freedom of thought and expression is open to discussion. In this respect, we would like to underline that we will not remain silent in the face of operations.

We want it to be known that we will continue to expose all policies targeting democracy and freedoms, especially the policies of war, as a sacred necessity of our journalistic activities and to bring the society together with the truth. We appeal to the focal points of power; know that these attacks cannot deter free press labourers. Give up such tendencies. For this reason, we demand the immediate release of our detained colleagues and call for solidarity with all our journalist friends who struggle to reveal the truth."