DI Media Committee
2015 / 9 / 5
Defend International is deeply concerned that the prominent Turkish newspaper columnist Mr. Kadri Gursel has been sacked from his position over a social media post, in which he reportedly criticised Turkey’s President. DI President Dr. Widad Akrawi urges the Turkish authorities to ensure that Mr. Gursel and his colleagues are able to carry out their work under safe conditions, without hindrance, harassment´-or-intimidation.
Turkey: DI Condemns Sacking of Respected Journalist
(Oslo) – Defend International joins other press freedom institutes in criticising the sacking of one of Turkey’s most respected journalists.
Defend International is deeply concerned that the prominent Turkish newspaper columnist Mr. Kadri Gursel has been sacked from his position over a social media post, in which he reportedly criticised Turkey’s President. According to international news agencies, Mr. Gürsel was fired for implying that his policy was partly responsible for ISIS suicide bombing of Suruc cultural centre, in which 32 Kobane-aid-volunteers were killed. Reports received from DI Defenders in Turkey indicated that the Istanbul-based Milliyet had unilaterally terminated its contact with Mr. Gursel on 23rd July 2015.
Defend International President Dr. Widad Akrawi said: “The firing of Mr. Kadri Gursel adds to a growing list of concerns about Turkey’s democracy. Respect for human rights and press freedom are deteriorating.”
“Today, we are expressing our solidarity with Mr. Gursel. We urge the Turkish authorities to ensure that he and his fellow journalists are able to carry out their work under safe conditions, without hindrance, harassment´-or-intimidation. We call on the authorities to avoid any act that may undermine freedom of expression, independent journalism and the free flow of information to the public,” she noted.
The International Secretariat of DI has followed the situation of human rights in Turkey. DI urges all governments to remind the Turkish authorities that they have a responsibility to ensure the protection of human rights defenders, including journalists and bloggers, against any retaliation and/or adverse discrimination as a consequence of their legitimate exercise of the rights enshrined in the international instruments.