Journalists in Turkey are facing perhaps their most difficult task ever these days. Reporters out to pound the pavement in pursuit of the news are being detained and arrested one by one. The biggest target in the attacks against the press is doubtlessly the Dicle News Agency (DİHA), three of whose employees have been sentenced to jail time while another 12 are under arrest. Most recently, DİHA journalist Nedim Türfent was arrested after being essentially kidnapped. His colleague, Şermin Soydan, was taken into custody on the same day, with her period of detention extended.
Agency workers who are attempting to present the news to the public despite pressure and threats in war zones are being targeted by state security forces. DİHA has been forced to exercise its creativity with its web domain names, as the state has closed down its website a whopping 37 times since July 2015. Moreover, the very fact that the police have issued a statement “not to worry about the safety” of DİHA journalists following the parade of detentions is a major source of concern in and of itself.
The task that falls on all journalists at this time is to protect their occupation and their colleagues. We truly have no option but to strengthen our bonds of solidarity against the oppression at the gates.
As DİSK Basın-İş, we call on everyone to protect the right to acquire and pursue the news.