NWU in solidarity with Kurdish journalists in the face of recent attacks from Erdogan regime
“As writers, freelancers and journalists in the US, we fight for transparency and press freedom and declare our full solidarity with Kurdish journalists,” said the National Writers Union.
The National Writers Union (NWU) released a statement condemning the recent arrests of 16 journalists by Turkish authorities.
“We are closely watching the situation as the Erdoğan government is attacking journalists, academics, political organizers and all the social opposition to keep its power. We are particularly aware that the Kurdish people face constant oppression, mass arrest, closure of their political parties and violence imposed by Turkish authorities. These conditions make press freedom a life and death question, especially for Kurdish journalists, and their newspaper Yeni Yaşam. We join with international press organizations in condemning the recent attacks in Turkey,” said the union.
The criminalization of journalism is a symptom of rising authoritarianism and fascism, said the NWU, adding, “This has become a global trend, from the repression of US journalists by the security forces during the George Floyd protests to the recent murder of Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin. As writers, freelancers and journalists in the US, we fight for transparency and press freedom and declare our full solidarity with Kurdish journalists.”
On 8 June, six media outlets, including two news agencies, Mezopotamya Agency (MA) and JinNews, and Kurdish-language newspaper Xwebûn, were searched in Amed as part of an "investigation" conducted by the Diyarbakir Chief Public Prosecutor's Office against twenty journalists and two other persons. The production companies Piya, Ari and Pel were also targeted in the operation. The media materials in these facilities were confiscated by the police, and the confiscated cameras were presented to the anti-terror police department as evidence of membership in a terrorist organisation. After 8 days in custody, 16 journalists out of 22 people detained in the operation were sent to prison on 15 June for alleged membership of a terrorist organisation.
The journalists in question are; the director of the women's news agency JinNews, Safiye Alagaş, the co-chair of the Dicle Firat Journalists' Association (DFG), Serdar Altan, the editor of MA news agency, Aziz Oruç, Xwebûn editor Mehmet Ali Ertaş, and Zeynel Abidin Bulut, Ömer Çelik, Mazlum Doğan Güler, Ibrahim Koyuncu, Neşe Toprak, Elif Üngür, Abdurrahman Öncü, Suat Doğuhan, Remziye Temel, Ramazan Geciken, Lezgin Akdeniz and Mehmet Şahin.