Some are greatly afraid of the truth and will do anything they can to ensure the truth remains unspoken. We witnessed the latest in an accelerating series of attacks against press workers yesterday when imc TV cameraman Refik Tekin was wounded in his left leg by police fire as he was going to cover the news.
Those who are afraid of the truth have placed their hopes in intimidating press workers. When DİHA reporter Nedim Oruç was recently taken into custody and brought to a sports hall in Silopi, we cast our minds back 20 years to Evrensel reporter Metin Göktepe, who was beaten to death by police in a sports hall-cum-detention center. When Refik Tekin was injured on Cizre’s streets yesterday by police fire, we immediately recalled the fate of İzzet Kezer, who was killed while covering forbidden Newroz celebrations on the same Cizre streets in 1992. We’ve never forgotten, and how could we? In this country, we commemorate several murdered journalists every month. The dates of the calendar are replete with lists of bombed-out newspaper buildings, draconian instances of censorship and tales of exile.
Despite all these pressures, journalists pound the pavement every day because citizens have a right to the news. More than this, they travel the streets that those that attempt to intimidate them don’t dare to tread – despite the dozens and hundreds of armed bodyguards at their disposal. And such intrepid reporters will continue to travel the streets.
Yesterday, a number of press outlets – particularly the state run Anadolu Agency – reported on Tekin’s injuries as a “clash with terrorists.” In reports written at desks far from the scene, it was suggested that “there was someone working as a cameraman for a private television channel among the wounded terrorists.”
We have a question for the court chroniclers that have opted to write the official history at the beck and call of those in political power. For what purpose do you, who are a disgrace to the profession of journalism, declare your colleague as a terrorist? To consolidate your position? Or perhaps you find your wage insufficient and are looking to raise your standing? Continue to write your official history, but do not forget that you will go down in the annals of history as liars.
As DİSK Basın-İş, we demand an end to attacks on the right to obtain the news and eagerly await Refik Tekin’s return to health and his presence among us.