Journalists from the Zaman and Today's Zaman dailies met with an international coalition of free expression groups on Wednesday morning and at the newspapers' headquarters to discuss the censorship crisis that has plagued Turkey in the lead up to the Nov. 1 election.
A joint coalition of leading watchdogs included representatives from the International Press Institute (IPI), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Article 19, the Index on Censorship and the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN). The coalition of delegates is currently in Turkey on an emergency visit and has been visiting newspapers that have come under attack from opposition politicians prior to the upcoming Nov. 1 snap election.
In addition to the international delegation, the head of the IPI's Turkish National Committee, Kadri Gürsel; Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) Secretary-General Mustafa Kuleli; and Ceren Sözeri of the Ethical Journalism Network (EJN) joined their Turkish colleagues with the editor-in-chief of the Zaman daily, Abdülhamit Bilici, and Today's Zaman Editor-in-Chief Bülent Keneş.
During Wednesday's meeting for coalition talks with Zaman, IPI Executive Director Barbara Trionfi explained that the international community has recognized that Turkey is in a state in need of urgent attention regarding its press freedoms being violated. Bilici and Keneş were able to voice their concerns and their personal experiences regarding the pressure on the media during the meeting.
Published on Today's Zaman, 21 October 2015, Wednesday