EMRE – Yes, we are ‘too free,’ Mr. DavutoIlu

Yes, we are ‘too free,’ Mr. DavutoIluJournalists in Turkey are freer than journalists living in the countries listed as “free” in a recent report released by a US-based watchdog organization, Foreign Minister Ahmet DavutoIlu claimed, encouraging Turkish journalists “to react” against the Freedom House report. “I’m calling on the press and the intellectuals to display a stance against this report. We expect our journalists too to reject this report,” he said. (Hurriyet Daily News, May 2, 2014)Yes, we are too free, Mr. DavutoIlu. US journalists won a Pulitzer Prize award for publishing leaked evidences about the US National Security Agency (NSA) wiretapping scandals. The Turkish prime minster, however, filed complaints against Turkish journalists seeking to have them jailed because they tweeted or retweeted links of YouTube videos that reveal the government corruption scandals.Yes, we are too free, Mr. DavutoIlu. When the US was in the middle of the war with Iraq, the US journalists who documented and showed the tortures of Abu Ghraib prison were rewarded for their reporting. The Turkish prime minister on the other hand, declared a political war against his own people and asked journalists to join his political war. Those who rejected joining his illogical war are called traitors and subjected to a smear campaign.Yes, we are too free, Mr. DavutoIlu. The Western journalists who published the WikiLeaks documents that were against their own countries’ interests faced no penalty. Turkish journalists, on the other hand, could hardly dare to publish similar documents so that people are aware of what is happening. Your government officials threatened those who dared to publish them, and soon afterwards, the newspaper that published the documents was raided by the tax collectors.Yes, we are too free, Mr. DavutoIlu. When Western journalists are investigating what is going on in Syria and find evidence that there are transfers of weapons and jihadists from Turkey to Syria, they are applauded. Turkish journalists who dare to question what is going on at the Turkey-Syria border are considered traitors and spies and targeted by the intelligence agency of your government.Yes, we are too free, Mr. DavutoIlu. When Turkish warplanes dropped bombs on our fellow citizens and killed 34 of them, the Turkish media was silenced for 12 hours and no one was able to learn what had happened in Uludere. Those journalists who did share the details of the Uludere incident have been under heavy pressure ever since then.Yes, we are too free, Mr. DavutoIlu. Your government just passed a law that prohibits the publication of any documents related to wrongdoing of the National Intelligence Organization (MIT). If any journalist dares to publish such a document, not only that journalist, but also the editors of that publication, the owner of the publication and those who work at the printing house face tens of years in prison.Yes, we are too free, Mr. DavutoIlu. There are bans on almost all the critical investigations, including weapon smuggling into Syria, the corruption scandals, investigations of wiretapping scandals, etc., so that we cannot write anything about or against those investigations. The only ones who are allowed to write about these matters are your own paid journalists.Yes, we are too free, Mr. DavutoIlu. A member of your own Cabinet, Minister of the Interior Efgan Ala, gives orders to the police to break down a journalist’s door and arrest him without any request from prosecutors, just because he published some court documents showing the details of the corruption scandals.Yes, we are too free, Mr. DavutoIlu. Your government agency, the Telecommunications Authority (TIB), shuts down journalists’ websites without any court request and does not reopen it even when the court orders it. And there is no need to mention, Mr. DavutoIlu, that we Turkish journalists are so free that, while you are requesting that we make a declaration that Turkish journalists are free, YouTube is still banned in our country

SOURCE: Todays Zaman

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