The S&D Group in the European Parliament has expressed its deepest concerns with the threats of Turkey’s president and government directed at journalists and the life sentence demanded for Cumhuriyet´s editor-in-chief, Can Dündar.
S&D Group president, Gianni Pittella stated:
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the tighter and tighter stranglehold on the media and freedom of expression in Turkey, put in place by the Turkish president and the national authorities. We consider the life sentence handed to Cumhuriyet´s editor-in-chief, Can Dündar, to be simply unacceptable. In a modern democracy the freedom of the press and expression must be respected, always. Especially a few days away from the elections.
“We reiterate our sincere and strong willingness to support the European path of Turkey. Nevertheless we cannot give up on the basic democratic values which are common and shared values with the whole of Turkish society.”
S&D MEP and rapporteur on Turkey, Kati Piri said:
“The life sentence and 42 years jail term demanded for Cumhuriyet´s editor-in-chief, Can Dündar, for making a critical news report is absurd and a very worrying development. The Turkish government and judicial system must immediately stop applying unacceptable pressure on journalists. The judicial system must be independent from the executive and uphold press freedom and their duty to maintain an informed public. Especially in election periods, as it is crucial that the voters can acquire information. I trust that Turkey´s striving civil society will ensure a valuable debate on how to revive a true democratic system.”
Please also read: