Some 45 journalists who were fired by daily Hürriyet in October have prepared a video clip, showing their pictures, names, positions at the newspaper and how many years they worked at the newspaper.
The video named “Tazminat Fermanı” (Severance pay edict in English) was accompanied by a song of famous Turkish pop singer Erol Evgin. The video ends offering a “Thank you” to Evgin for his permission to use the relevant song named “Gel de yanma.” The video also draws attention to the total number of years that the 45 journalists have worked in the newspaper – 481 years.
In addition to the video clip, the journalists have also shared a statement with the public, reading as follows:
“On Oct. 25, 2019, some 45 journalists and media workers have been fired from daily Hürriyet without any reason being shown.
Demirören Holding has not given these journalists their rights and has not given any explanation.
‘Well go on your way’ has been said to these 45 journalists who have put an effort of total 481 years in Hürriyet.
Among them, there were people who were getting a cancer treatment and waiting for a baby in the hospital.
We understand very well that we do not want to be worked with. Our feelings are reciprocal.
But how do you find the right to conduct such an inhumane treatment towards journalists?
How do you explain this laxity, disregard for laws that has never been seen in the history of press?
Newspaper is the job of journalists, not the ones that usurp their rights.”
On Oct. 25, Hürriyet newspaper fired 45 journalists by sending emails or letters to their homes, in a startling move that marks yet another blow to the already-troubled state of the Turkish media.
Forty-three of the journalists were members of the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS), which in a statement referred to the firings as a “liquidation” of the union members working at the paper. The ensuing backlash included the resignation of the paper’s editor-in-chief and some of its most notable columnists.
In their reports on the firings, many media outlets referred to the situation as something which had “never been witnessed in the history of the paper.”
Once one of the country’s most notable and best-selling newspapers, Hürriyet was sold last year by the Doğan holding group to the Demirören group, the latter of which is known for its friendly relationship with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the ruling-Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.
Prior to the sale, the paper and the Doğan group faced considerable pressure due for years to its critical coverage of the government.