Serkan Alan/ DUVAR
The Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) organized a protest in front of the Presidential Communications Directorate in Ankara to condemn the ongoing investigations into over 800 journalists despite the reversal of some’s press cards getting cancelled.
Turkey’s Presidential Communications Directorate had cancelled press cards of journalists working for opposition newspapers Birgün, Evrensel and Cumhuriyet on Jan. 24.
The decision was overturned Jan. 26 following public outcry, but the directorate noted that investigations into 894 journalists would continue.
TGS members gathered in front of the Presidential Communications Directorate in Ankara carrying signs that read “We want our rights back, not our cards” and “Journalism can’t fit onto a card.”
“We refuse the mandate ‘You exist if you’re the government’s mouthpiece, otherwise you don’t,” said the press release read by TGS. “We want to protect the public’s ‘right to know,’ our only code.”
The journalists were joined by members of the Progressive Journalists Association (ÇGD) and the Human Rights Association (İHD).
Some 894 journalists’ press cards are awaiting ‘meticulous inspection,’ Turkey’s Presidential Communications Director Fahrettin Altun said.
“Whether the individual is a practicing journalist, whether they are affiliated with any terrorist organizations and whether they behave in line with professional integrity are all considered,” Altun said about the investigations.
Altun also said that it was ‘entirely untrue’ that some cards had been cancelled.
“Undetermined press card applications are still active,” Altun said, referring to the applications journalists placed to receive new, turquoise press cards as mandated by the government.