The Turkish G9 Platform demanded to complement the Constitution by the following sentences: "The press is free and shall not be censored. Laws embodying restrictions of press freedom shall not be enforced". The press organization furthermore requested the amendment of 27 articles of the Turkish Criminal Law (TCK) and the release of all journalists in detention.
The G9 Platform is an association of eleven professional press organizations. The Platform demanded to lift all regulations that constitute a restriction of press freedom and freedom of expression within the TCK and the Anti-Terror Law (TMY).
"No real press freedom and freedom of expression in Turkey"
The G9 Platform drew attention to the lack of real press freedom and freedom of expression in Turkey considering decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), globally accepted values of humanity, basic human rights and principles of a democratic state of law. "The attitude of prohibition and obstruction, that has been manifested in Turkish legislation, should be abandoned", the organization said.
"Detained journalists should be detained immediately"
The G9 Platform emphasized that besides 27 articles of the TCK, also the TMY, articles of the Constitution and the Press Law all contain provisions that harm freedom of expression. The association voiced two important demands:
"We are concerned about the numerous journalists taken into custody and detention and being sentenced to imprisonment or monetary fines. Hundreds of investigations and trials have been launched against journalists. We particularly request the release of all journalists in detention in order to prevent the number of affected journalists from rising even further".
"Government and Parliament should act immediately..."
"We urge the government and the parliament to take immediate steps to amend the according laws by the root. This is necessary to save Turkey from the dangerous tendency of breaking away from the democratic world".
According to the Platform, it is an obligation to include the right to information in the Constitution. The association demanded to amend article 28 of the Constitution by adding the clause "The press is free and shall not be censored. Laws embodying restrictions of press freedom shall not be enforced".
In their announcement, the organization criticized the government's defence of the TCK true to the motto "Let's have a look at the applications, let's see the case law". At the end of five years, 46 journalists and press employees are in prison and "most of them have not been sentenced yet", G9 explained.
Accordingly, there are still more than 700 prosecutions and compensation claims related to journalists. Most of these files are based on article 285 of the TCK on "violating the secrecy of an investigation", article 288 regarding the "attempt at affecting a fair judicial process" and article 7of the TMY on "spreading propaganda for a terrorist organization".
Members of the G9 Platform are the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS), the Turkish Journalists' Society (TGC), the Contemporary Journalists' Association (ÇGD), the Parliament Correspondents Association (PMD), the Photo Journalists Association (FMD), the Economy Reporters Association (EMD), the Diplomacy Reporters Association (DMD), the Association of Professional News Cameramen (PHKD), the Turkish Representation of the Association of European Journalists (AEJ), and the Media and Communication Workers Union (Haber-Sen). (EÖ/VK)