The Association of Turkish Journalists (TGC) condemned the verbal violence experienced by Milliyet newspaper writer Nuray Mert and the physical violence imposed to Cumhuriyet newspaper reporter Pelin Ünker.
The written statement of the association also underlined the fact that 65 journalists are currently being detained in Turkish prisons and that about 4,000 journalists find themselves under pressure of a court case.
The TGC criticized, "The attitude of the government rendered verbal and physical violence against journalist an ordinary issue. The journalists serve the people's right to information and their right to learn the truth. We find it rather odd that a blind eye is being turned to the fact that these journalists are deemed to deserve violence".
The announcement claimed that writer Mert was made a target by the severe accusations put forward by the Prime Minister on account of her opinion and her articles.
"Who is going to be responsible if Mert should become the subject of an attack on the grounds of these allegations? We call on the politicians to demonstrate respect towards freedom of expression and to get hold of a more responsible stance".
The association's declaration described the incident that happened to journalist Ünker on 1 June when she was covering a demonstration in Mecidiyeköy (Istanbul). She was exposed to violence even though she showed her press card which was then torn into pieces by her attackers.
"Ünker is currently not able to use her left arm. She had to obtain a sick report for five days. Ünker filed a criminal complaint against the policemen who attacked her", the TGC said.
"Reporting about injustice against the public and corruption is the most important function of journalists. We condemn the verbal violence from politicians against our colleagues and also the systematic physical violence applied by the police forces. We want the persons responsible for the assault against Ünker to be prosecuted as soon as possible". (NV/ŞA/VK)
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