French journalist Mathias Depardon was detained almost a month ago while taking photographs for National Geographic close to Hasankeyf, a historical area of Southeast Anatolia that will soon be inundated by the waters from a controversial dam.
Since that day, Depardon has been kept in isolation despite announcements that he would be deported. In protest at his treatment, the journalist launched a hunger strike, ending it after finally being permitted to meet with French consular officials on 27 May.
We are currently witnessing that even foreign journalists are now receiving their share of Turkey’s oppression. Turkey’s government, which has altered the media landscape in the country and exerted pressure on the press in an effort to manufacture consent for its policies, has become uncomfortable with the international media. At present, it is attempting to prevent international media representatives from accessing the news in Turkey by canceling permits, deporting journalists, declaring media professionals as spies and arresting press workers.
Accessing the news is a universal right; no one can restrict this right by criminalizing international media representatives. We demand the immediate release of all captive journalists, particularly French journalist Mathias Depardon, as well as Dicle News Agency (DİHA) Board of Directors Chair Zekeriya Güzüpek and Kurdish Editor Mehmet Ali Ertaş.