|Protest against Turkish journalist's jail sentence|
|Written by Administrator|
|Wednesday, 10 February 2010 19:00|
The unjust condemnation of Turkish journalist Yalcin Ergündogan was protested on Feb. 11, by journalists and human rights defenders at a press conference held at the Istanbul Office of the Human Rights Association of Turkey (IHD).
The representatives of the IHD, the Publishers' Union of Turkey (TYB), the Platform for Solidarity with Imprisoned Journalists (TGDP), Initiative for Stopping Racism and Nationalism (DUR DE), the Coalition of 70 Million Steps Against Coup d'états, The Planetary Action Group (KEG), the Planetary Coalition for Peace and Justice (Küresel BAK), the Platform "Planet Is Not Ours Alone (DYBD), the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), the Revolutionary Socialist Workers' Party (DSIP) were present at the press conference.
First, Ergündogan gave detailed information about his trials and condemnation (See: Writer Ergündogan Sentenced for Criticism of Sheikh Baş), and said: "I wrote that article with the purpose of informing public opinion. I based my article on the revelations made at the site haydarbas.com made by a dissident group against the head of the Independent Turkey Party (BTP) Haydar Bas. In spite of many proofs that I presented to the court, I was sentenced to 105-day prison for insult. As seen in this case, the press freedom is under heavy threat in Turkey."
Publisher Ragip Zarakolu, spokesman of the Publishers' Union of Turkey (TYB), drew attention to the anti-democratic laws preventing to freely express and write. "At present, there is a double-faced justice system in Turkey. You can criticize someones but can't do it for some others. For example, if the person in question is a minister of police origin such as Mehmet Agar, you can never do anything against him. Otherwise, you should pay a too heavy price for your attempt," he said.
Journalist Necati Abay, spokesman of the Platform for Solidarity with Imprisoned Journalists (TGDP), protesting against the prosecution of journalists, said: "Here is such a country where criticism or insult are totally free for a part of the citizens. The right to criticize is denied only for socialist or opponent intellectuals."
Finally, IHD Istanbul Chairwoman Gülseren Yoleri, protesting against jail sentences for expressing opinion, said that the IHD will be in a constant solidarity with Ergündogan and all journalists under prosecution.