Today is Kurdish Journalism Day

22 April, the date on which the first issue of the Kurdistan newspaper was published, in 1898, is celebrated as Kurdish Journalists Day.

While the Kurdistan press started its journey on 22 April 1898, the Free Press Tradition, which is perhaps its most important offspring, started its journey on 22 April 1990.

Mîqdad Mîdhed Bedirxan started the publication of Kurdistan Newspaper, the first Kurdish newspaper in Cairo, on 22 April 1898. Due to the oppressive and censorship practices of the Ottoman administration, the Kurdistan Newspaper, which was forced to be published in Geneva, Cairo and London, continues to be the source of inspiration for the Kurdish press today.”

Kurdish journalism began 126 years ago, while in exile in Cairo, and since then, has been faced with repression and pressure by successive regimes. The ‘90s were dark years in Kurdish society and Kurdish journalism became the voice of the painful truth and of what was going on in Turkey and Kurdistan. Many Kurdish journalists paid the price of telling the truth and exposing those crimes. They were murdered, jailed, harassed, wounded. We respectfully commemorate all press martyrs who have never ceased to be the voice of truth, despite their fundamental right, the right to life, being constantly violated.

From 1898 to the 1990s, from the 1990s to the present day, the repression and violence against the Kurdish press have been constant, and today is not different: journalists are arrested and imprisoned. After the 15 July [2015] coup attempt, the government is using the State of Emergency to arbitrarily prevent journalists from doing their job. They closed newspapers, magazines, news agencies, television channels and printing houses which are broadcasting in Kurdish and many journalists have been put in prison.