New call for the release of journalist Serdar Karakoç

Journalists, politicians, lawyers and human rights defenders protested the arrest of journalist Serdar Karakoç and said: "We watch with shame as European politicians bow to Turkey's demands."

Journalists, politicians, lawyers and human rights defenders made a written statement to protest the arrest of journalist Serdar Karakoç.

The statement said: "We are deeply saddened by the detention and arrest of Kurdish journalist Serdar Karakoç in the Netherlands, where he has lived for many years. Although Germany's request is cited as the reason, we know that the facts behind this arrest are the result of Turkey's pressure. European politicians have responded to Turkey's demands. We watch with shame as as European politicians bow to Turkey's demands."

The statement added: "Serdar Karakoç is a colleague of ours who has worked as a journalist in Turkey for years. He worked in Kurdish newspapers and was in the newspaper building when Özgür Ülke was bombed. He survived the attack by chance and this is the most concrete proof of the difficult conditions he performed his profession in. Since he had no opportunity to continue his journalistic activities in the Turkey, he left and claimed asylum in the Netherlands. There he was granted asylum and he continued to work as a journalist in Europe. Karakoç has been a tireless defender of his profession and freedom of expression. We are witnesses to Serdar Karakoç's journalism.

We, the undersigned, demand the release of Serdar Karakoç. We would like to underline that the pressures, arrests and intimidation attempts against Kurdish journalists are unacceptable. Freedom of expression is one of the cornerstones of democratic societies and we have to fight together to protect this freedom.

We reiterate our call for Serdar Karakoç to be released and to continue his journalistic activities freely. We want this unfair arrest to end immediately and Karakoç to be freed."

The signatories of the statement are as follows:

"Prof. Mithat Sancar (Member of Parliament, jurist)

Lawyer Eren Keskin (IHD Co-President)

Joost Jongerden (Academician, Wageningen University)

Şivan Perwer (Artist)

Can Dündar (Journalist)

Amberin Zaman (Journalist)

Pınar Selek (Sociologist, writer, University Côte d'Azur)

Osman Baydemir (Human Rights Defender)

Prof. Cengiz Aktar (University of Athens)

Prof. Neşe Özgen (University of Osnabrück, Germany)

Hayko Bagdat (Author)

Erdal Er (Journalist)

Frederike Geerdink (Journalist)

Prof. Dr. Kenan Engin (Academician, Berlin Univ.)

Murat Çakır (Author)

Hatip Dicle (Politics)

Fırat Anlı (Previous Diyarbakır Metropolitan Municipality Co-Mayor)

Ertuğrul Kürkçü (HDP Honorary President)

Ahmet Kahraman (Author)

Prof. Dr. Abdurrahman Gülbeyaz (Nagasaki University)

Ferhat Tunç (Artist)

Süheyla Kaplan (Journalist)

Ozan Emekçi (Artist)

Aziz Tunç (Author)

Ahmet Nesin (Author)

Ergun Babacan (Journalist)

Ferda Çetin (Journalist)

Özlem Alev Demirel (European Parliament, German Left Party Deputy)

Ragıp Zarakolu (Journalist)

Atilla Keskin (Author)

Amed Dicle (Journalist)

İlhami Erdoğan (Cartoonist)

Akın Olgun (Author)

Bedia Özgökçe (Former Van Metropolitan Municipality Co-Mayor)

Cafer Tar (Author)

Yücel Özdemir (Universal Journalist European Representative)

Lawyer Dünya Doğan (Lawyer)

İsmail Özen (Athlete)

Ertuğrul Mavioğlu (Journalist)

Doğan Özgüden (Journalist-Author)

İnci Tuğsavul (Journalist)

Kurdo Baksi (Journalist)

Ayhan Işık (Academician, Netherlands)

Ali Çatakçın (Author)

İrfan Aktan (Journalist)

Memo Şahin (Author)

Kenan Güngör (Sociologist)

Gülten Aydin (Sociologist)

Nevra Akdemir (Academician)

Adil Yiğit (European Post GYY)

Dr. Kerim Has (Academician)

Fuat Kav (Author)

Ziya Pir (Former Member of Parliament)

Drs. Serip Ateş (Sociologist-Activist)

Assoc. Dr. Nazan Üstündağ (Academician)

Lawyer Serhat Bucak (Author)

Dr. Latife Akyüz (Academician)

Abdullah Demirbaş (Politician)

Lawyer Hasip Kaplan (Former Member of Parliament)

Tuncay Yılmaz (SYKP Founding Chairman)

İrfan Cüre (Journalist)

Suat Bozkuş (Author)

Aris Nalcı (Journalist)

İsmet Kayhan (Journalist)

Lawyer Öztürk Türkdoğan (Former Human Rights Association Co-President)

Veysi Sarısözen (Author)

Nursel Aydoğan (Former Member of Parliament)

Selahattin Soro (Author)

Ali Baran (Artist)

Afat Baz (Journalist)

Tuncay Doğan (Journalist)

Günay Aslan (Journalist)

İbrahim Çiçek (Journalist)."