Turkish columnists published a joint open letter of protest as a reaction to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's warning voiced last week addressing media bosses to take columnists under control.
The letter of protest has been signed by 47 journalists so far. As reported by the Turkish news site Ntvmsnbc.com, the journalists described Erdoğan's approach that "newspaper bosses and columnists should be controlled" as grave.
Prime Minister Erdoğan on the other hand claims that his utterance was misunderstood. In the "Extended Meeting of Provincial Chairman" of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Ankara on Friday (26 February) Erdoğan said "You are paying the salaries of the columnists. You have no right to complain tomorrow".
The Turkish Journalists' Society (TGC), the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) and the Press Institute Association sharply criticized Erdoğan. Yesterday the prime minister said "I did not say to sack the columnists that I do not like".
Letter of protest open to sign
"We as the undersinged columnists think that Prime Minister Erdoğan's statement that the newspaper bosses should control the columnists is contrary to obligatory press freedom and opposes the ideal of a 'democratic Turkey'. We think this is a grave attitude and voice our protest against the statement".
Journalists who have signed the letter of protest
Avni Özgürel, Haluk Şahin, Ahmet Taşgetiren, Mümtazer Türköne, Cüneyt Ülsever, Mehmet Tezkan, Ferai Tınç, Hadi Uluengin, Yasin Aktay, Taha Akyol, Şahin Alpay, Ergun Babahan, Ayşe Böhürler, Ali Bulaç, Ahmet Hakan Coşkun, Cengiz Çandar, Yasemin Çongar, Abdurrahman Dilipak, Mustafa Erdoğan, Gülay Göktürk, Okay Gönensin, Nuh Gönültaş, Nazlı Ilıcak, Etyen Mahçupyan, Güngör Mengi, Nuray Mert, Yıldıray Oğur, Mustafa Mutlu, Semih İdiz, Ayşe Hür, Sivilay Abla, Hikmet Çetinkaya, Deniz Kavukçuoğlu, Ataol Behramoğlu, Güray Öz, Yalçın Doğan, Demiray Oral, Bülent Keneş, Melih Altınok, İhsan Dağı, Emre Uslu, Ruhat Mengi, Hadi Özışık, Hilal Kaplan, Orhan Kemal Cengiz, Kürşat Bumin and Abdullah Bozkurt. (EÖ/VK)
Erdoğan Accused Media of Provocation 01 March 2010Prime Minister Erdoğan blamed the media and the opposition to "set a place ...
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