European Socialists : Turkey must respect the freedom of expression

Ararat News –Publishing (ANP) – Roni Alasor, 3/7/2008 / Brussels – Hannes Swoboda, vice-president of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament (PSE), said that the candidate country for the EU membership, Turkey, must respect the freedom of expression, democratic and secular State. Today still there are more then 20 Turkish and Kurdish journalist and press workers are in prison in Turkey while many ten of journalist and writers facing to go to the court. That is despite the governing party AKP is trying to fine a “balance between the Turkish and European democracy” to revise the Article 301: The controversial law that restricts freedom of speech in the country which has been one of the critical discussions point between Turkey and EU.

Mr. Swoboda, together with socialist MEP Jan Marinus Wiersma, the both PSE Group vice-presidents urged also the need of the importance of continuing the reform process in Turkey in order to strengthen democracy and meet the Copenhagen criteria. They stressed also that there is no place in politics for either the army or religion.  

In a press release, Hannes Swoboda and Jan Marinus Wiersma, ask to the Turkish authorities to fully uphold the principle of freedom of expression and urged the powers that be in Turkey to facilitate the job of journalists going about their work there.

More then 20 journalists has been killed

Since 1990, more then 30 journalists, mostly Kurds has been killed by ”unknown murders” and human rights associations was accusing the “Turkish secret-deep forces”. The last killed journalist in Turkey was the Armenian Hrant Dink. Dink was editor of the Turkish- Armenian newspaper Agos, had been brought to trial numerous times on charges of "insulting Turkishness," a crime under Article 301.

List of imprisoned journalist in Turkey

According spokesman of The Platform of Solidarity With Imprisoned Journalists in Turkey, Necati Abay, the names of imprisoned journalist in Turkey :

1- İbrahim Çiçek, Chief Editor of Atilim newspaper, author and journalist. Tekirdağ 2 nolu F Tipi Cezaevi

2- Sedat Şenoğlu, Vice Chief Editor and author of Atılım, Edirne 1 Nolu F Tipi Cezaevi

3- Füsun Erdoğan, General Broadcasting Manager of Özgür Radio, Gebze Özel Tip Cezaevi, Gebze/KOCAELİ

4- Hasan Coşar, author of Atılım, Sincan F Tipi Cezaevi

5- Ziya Ulusoy, author of Atılım, Tekirdağ 1 Nolu F Tipi Cezaevi

6- Bayram Namaz, author of Atılım, Edirne 1 Nolu F Tipi Cezaevi

7- Hatice Duman, Headmaster and owner of Atılım, Gebze Özel Tip Cezaevi, Gebze/KOCAELİ

8- Erol Zavar, Headmaster and owner of Odak, author and journalist, Sincan F Tipi Cezaevi

9- Mustafa Gök, Ankara correspondent of Ekmek ve Adalet, Sincan F Tipi Cezaevi

10- Barış Açıkel, the owner and headmaster of İşçi Köylü, Kandıra 1 Nolu F Tipi Cezaevi Platform of

11- Behdin Tunç, Şırnak correspondent of DİHA, Diyarbakır D Tipi Cezaevi

12- Faysal Tunç, Şırnak correspondent of DİHA, Diyarbakır D Tipi Cezaevi

13- Mehmet Karaaslan, Mersin Representative of Gündem, Mersin E Tipi Cezaevi

14- Ali Buluş, Mersin correspondent of DİHA, Mersin E Tipi Cezaevi

15- Mahmut Tutal, Urfa correspondent of newspaper “Gündem”, Diyarbakır D Type Prison

16- Hüseyin Habip Taşkın, author of Güney, Manisa Cezaevi

17- Mehmet Bakır, ex-Chife Editor of journal “Güney”, Bolu Closed Prison

18- Erdal Güler, ex-Responsible of newspaper “Devrimci Demokrasi”, Bayrampaşa Prison, İstanbul

19- Haydar Haykır, Şırnak correspondent of News Agency “Dicle”, Batman M Type Prison.

20- Mahmut Kolca, Urfa correspondent of DİHA, Urfa E Tipi Cezaevi

21- Vedat Kurşun, Headmaster and owner of Azadiya Welat, Diyarbakır D Tipi Cezaevi