The reason for the
cancellation of the accreditation of some of the journalists by the Prime Ministry
has been announced: absenteeism. Sultan Özer of daily Günlük Evrensel, who has
been a Prime Ministry reporter for eight years, is one of those journalists.
Özer asked Prime Ministry’s
Press Consultant’s Office what the reason was for the cancellation of her
accreditation. Press Consultant Ahmet Arslan’ answer was that she had not
satisfied the ‘attendance’ condition required for being a Prime Ministry
Yesterday (November 24), Özer, a member of the Discipline
Committee of the Turkish Journalists Union (TGS) and diplomacy
reporter for daily Günlük Evrensel, had petitioned the Administrative Court of
Ankara for the removal of the accreditation ban put into effect by the Prime
Ministry against some journalists.
Özer’s lawyer Meliha Selvi
had asked the court to recall the accreditation ban and stop the enforcement of
Daily Günlük Evrensel had
held Beki responsible and the People’s Republican Party (CHP) had intervened
Özer, who has been a press
card holder for 11 years and Prime Ministry reporter for 8 years, was not
allowed to observe the Council of Ministers on November 10 on the grounds that
her accreditation was cancelled.
Hasan Tüfekçi and Turan Yılmaz
of daily Hürriyet, Abdullah Karakuş of daily Milliyet, Fatma
Çözen of Star TV and Ali Ekber Ertürk of daily Akşam
were also affected from this decision.
Daily Günlük Evrensel had
condemned the decision by stating that it was the personal preference of Arif
Beki, the chief consultant of Prime Minister Erdoğan. The People’s Republican
Party had intervened and brought the issue to the Parliament.
Reactions to the ban
President of the Pres Council Oktay Ekşi of daily Hurriyet reminded the
journalists that they could have this decision cancelled by taking it to the
Organization of Human
Rights and Solidarity for Oppressed People (MAZLUMDER) described the
accreditation policy as violation of the freedom of press, which is a
subcategory of the freedom of expression. The G 9 Platform demanded an end to
these acts which can never be allowed in the Democratic regimes.
The Turkish Journalists
Society (TGC) wanted this policy that puts an end to the claims of tolerance to all voices to stop immediately. President of the Contemporary
Journalists Association Ahmet Abakay said that these people who decide about
these matters in the Prime Ministry were not journalists, they were party members
looking for supporters.
The Human Rights Association
(İHD) too invited the Prime Ministry to respect the Freedom of Press and to
quit jeopardizing the journalists’ right to work. (EÖ/TB)