Journalists Society of Turkey (TGC) and Press Council (Basın Konseyi) of Turkey criticized the order issued by Prime Minister’s Office to bar several newspapers and TV channels from attending the funeral ceremony of Prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz this afternoon.
Special-ops units held an operation against the hostage-takers in Istanbul Courthouse last night, killing all 2 Revolutionary People’s Liberation Front (DHKC) members and evacuating the abducted prosecutor Mehmet Selim Kiraz in an ambulance who died later on in the hospital.
“Broadcasting towards helping terror organizations to reach their goals. Prevent the public outrage against those media outlets that don’t show a clear stance towards the terror organization,” PM’s Office and Interior Ministry said in a statement.
The aforementioned barring was made upon those media outlets that published the photos of Prosecutor Kiraz under abduction.
The list of those barred media outlets were as follows: Hürriyet, Cumhuriyet, Bugün, Milat, Taraf and Zaman newspapers as well as CNN Türk, Bugün TV, Kanaltürk, İMC TV; Samanyolu TV, Cihan News Agency and Doğan News Agency. The reporters, photo reporters and cameramen of the aforementioned outlets were not allowed to attend the funeral.
Slamming the PM’s office ruling, TGC said it went at odds with the principle of equality between journalists who have the duty to inform the public.
Press Council criticized the PM, saying that the duty of the government is to provide security for journalists.
“In a democratic state of law, if there is a risk of ‘reaction’ or assault, the duty of the government is not to bar media but to provide security for the free press according to regulations of the European Court of Human Rights rulings,” Press Council’s statement cited.
On the other hand, pro-AKP Yeni Şafak and Akşam newspapers used exactly the same words to describe the accreditation ban: “Those media organization that didn’t show a clear stance towards the terror organization and identify terrorists as ‘activists’ were unable to cover the funeral.” (EA/BM)
* Click here to read the article in Turkish.
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