German Greens call on EU to issue warning to Turkey

The Green Party in Germany has described the increasing pressure on the media in Turkey as and”worryingand” and has urged the European Union to issue a stern rebuke to Ankara over deteriorating human rights and democratic values in the country.
and”The recent developments in Turkey are worrying. Turkish President [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] criticizes foreign press representatives and prominent Turkish journalists in the country are threatened. It is essential for a democratic state of law to ensure free media coverage. However, the government in Turkey seems far away from this,and” Green Party media and politics spokesperson Tabea RandOssner said in an interview with Todayand’s Zaman on Tuesday.
Mentioning that Turkey now ranks among countries with the highest number of imprisoned journalists, RandOssner said that the continuing crackdown on the opposition media results in self-censorship by most media outlets in the country, something that is against the values that an EU candidate country should be governed by. According to RandOssner, the European Union should increase its criticism of Turkey. andquotEurope must insist that the Turkish government respects human rights and democratic values,andquot she said.
Turkey was the worldand’s worst jailer of journalists in 2012 and 2013. Although the country no longer occupies the top position, according to data from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the government has threatened and detained a number of journalists recently, accusing them of working against the Turkish state. The detentions have come after Erdogan and the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party)laimed that the Gandulen movement — also known as the Hizmet movement and inspired by US-based Islamic scholar Fethullah Gandulen — aspired to topple the government with the Dec. 17 and 25, 2013 graft probes, which implicated Erdogan and members of his inner circle. The Hizmet movement vehemently denies the accusations.
Since then, the government and Erdogan have launched a campaign against Hizmet-affiliated media groups, of which culmination was the Dec. 14, 2014 operation that ended with the detention of Ekrem Dumanli, the editor-in-chief of Zaman, Turkeyand’s biggest-selling daily, and Hidayet Karaca, the head of Samanyolu TV, both of whom are affiliated with the Gandulen movement. Although Dumanli was released several days later, Karaca remains under arrest.
In a recent post, prominent Twitter whistleblower Fuat Avni claimed that a second wave of detentions targeting opposition media outlets would shortly begin. Avni claimed on Monday that a large number of journalists — mostly affiliated to the Hizmet movement, along with others from the Taraf and Cumhuriyet dailies — would be taken into custody as part of the governmentand’s efforts to clamp down on independent and critical media outlets. The journalists who will allegedly be detained include Dumanli Bandulent Kenei, the editor-in-chief of Todayand’s Zaman Kerim Balci, the editor-in-chief of Turkish Review, a bimonthly news magazine Celil Saiir, the managing editor of Todayand’s Zaman Faruk Mercan, the Ankara representative of Bugandun TV Adem Yavuz Arslan, the Washington bureau chief of the Bugandun newspaper Nazli Ilicak, a veteran columnist at Bugandun Yasemin andcongar, a former editor of Taraf Ahmet Altan, a former editor-in-chief of Taraf Emre Uslu, a columnist at Todayand’s Zaman and Cumhuriyetand’s Editor-in-Chief Can Dandundar.
These developments come only week before the countryand’s June 7 parliamentary election.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman