Olcayto: BYEGM denied Ekrem Dumanlı permanent press pass

In 2014, 94 journalists were denied the permanent press pass that is awarded by BYEGM. President of the Turkish Journalists’ Association (TGC), Olcayto, who used to head of the Press Pass Commission, stated on Tuesday morning during a press conference held in Ankara that when interacting with BYEGM General Manager Cemalettin Hasimi in 2014, he was told, “Don’t give this man the card, but give it to the others,” an apparent example of discrimination against Dumanlı. Olcayto explained that because of the BYEGM decision, none of the 94 journalists who applied received the card. In August, the TGC withdrew from the commission.

“They are trying to create a journalist monotype. Instead of many voices, they want to make one voice for the public and to do this they are using the BYEGM. It’s a shame,” lamented Olcayto.

Several journalists’ associations gathered in the Turkish capital on Tuesday morning to issue a joint statement of protest regarding a decision of the Press Card Commission, which is scheduled to assemble on Wednesday and Thursday. In August, the TGS and the TGC announced that they were withdrawing their membership to the commission after a new regulation was enacted changing the representation on the commission and allowing a deputy prime minister to issue permanent press cards.

The organizations participating in the joint statement held on Tuesday morning were the Turkish Journalists’ Association (TGC), the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS), the Contemporary Journalists Association (CGD), the Turkish Journalists Federation (TGF) and the İzmir Journalists’ Association.

In their statement, the organizations said that the press commission had not consulted with press associations and had performed in a manner that was contrary to the principle of equality and was therefore unlawful.