DİSK Basın-İş Chair Faruk Eren and Board of Directors member Ayşe Düzkan provided testimony to Turkish prosecutors at the Istanbul Courthouse on 23 May in connection with an investigation opened into a solidarity campaign with Özgür Gündem that began on 3 May, World Press Freedom Day.

Journalist Ertuğrul Mavioğlu joined Eren and Düzkan in providing testimony in the probe, which has now expanded to include 12 journalists who have also participated in the campaign in which visiting journalists symbolically assume editor-in-chief duties for the day.

The trio received support from DİSK Chair Kani Beko, Turkish Journalists’ Union (TGS) head Uğur Güç and Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) representative Sibel Güneş.

Speaking before providing his testimony on behalf of himself and the others, Eren said the investigation had been opened because they showed solidarity with Özgür Gündem and that they would return every Monday to support other journalists as they provide their own testimony in the probe.

The lack of press freedom in Turkey has reached a serious level, Eren said. “The fact that trials can be opened against journalists showing solidarity with other journalists depicts just how embarrassing the situation has become.”

Eren said he and the others would continue to show solidarity with colleagues who are targeted.

In addition to Eren, Düzkan and Mavioğlu, investigations have now been opened into Mustafa Sönmez, Melda Onur, Fehim Işık, Celal Başlangıç, Eşber Yağmurdereli, Ragıp Duran, Nurcan Baysal, Ömer Ağın and Ahmet Abakay. At the same time, Özgür Gündem News Editor İnan Kızılkaya is set to provide testimony to prosecutors as part of an investigation into “terrorist propaganda.”