Under the direction of the Turkish Journalists Association (TGC), 14 professional press organizations came together to emphasize that no journalist should be kept in detention on the grounds of his/her writings.
After discussing "disadvantageous provisions" related to freedom of press and communication in the Turkish Criminal Law (TCK) in a meeting at the Press Council, the participating organizations decided to establish a "Freedom for Journalists Platform" and a "Commission for Action".
TGC President Orhan Erinç became the first head of the newly founded platform. Erinç pointed out that the trials against journalists were not in line with the decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).
The meeting was hosted by the TGC on 18 August. The President of the Press Council, Oktay Ekşi, stated that the political power did not pay attention to the criticism voiced by professional press organizations regarding disadvantages in certain provisions of the TCK after its enforcement in 2005.
In the first two months after the founding of the platform it will be chaired by Erinç. The presidency will alternate in bi-monthly intervals. Ekşi will be chair of the platform in November/December, followed in 2011 by Atilla Sertel from the Turkish Journalists Federation (TGF), the President of the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS), Ercan İpekçi, the President of the Press Institute Association, Ferai Tınç and Ahmet Abakay as the President of the Contemporary Journalists Association (ÇGD).
TGF President Sertel emphasized, "As professional press organizations we do not want any journalist to be prosecuted on the grounds of their thoughts, utterances and writings". He assured support for the signature campaign "Freedom for Journalists" initiated by the TGS and the G-9 Journalists Platform. The campaign aims to end detention for journalists. Sertel explained that the lists of signatures will be submitted to the President, the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Justice and other competent bodies.
Sertel called other professional organizations to join the platform as well.
Organizations attending the meeting
Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) President Orhan Erinç, Turkish Union of Journalists (TGS) President Ercan İpekçi, Turkish Journalists Federation (TGF) President Atilla Sertel, Press Council President Oktay Ekşi, Press Council Secretary General Oktay Huduti, Press Institute Association President Ferai Tınç and Secretary General Yurdanur Atadan, Contemporary Journalists Association (ÇGD) President Ahment Abakay, Economy Reporters Association Deputy President Mehmet Kaya, Newspaper Owners Association Secretary General Rüştü Bozkurt, Haber-Sen Board Member Mehmet Demir, Izmir Journalists Association Deputy President Ali Ekber Yıldırım, Culture, Tourism and Environment Newspapers Association President Ali Tarık Hatipoğlu, Turkish Sports Writers Association Deputy Chair İlyas Namoğlu, Media Ethics Council President Halit Esendir and the Professional News Cameramen Association. (BT/VK)