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CHP deputy Erdem: Gov't plans to seize press cards of critical journos.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Eren Erdem said in a written statement on Friday that the Justice and Development Party (AK Party) government is planning to seize the press cards of journalists critical of the administration.

Speaking of the renewal of press cards by the Prime Ministry's Directorate General of Press and Information (BYEGM), Erdem said, "It is a cause for concern that the AK Party, which has drawn swords against opposition media, will not renew the press cards of impartial journalists."

"They [the government] are planning on seizing the press cards on which they [the government] have spilt blood," he wrote, in reference to the rough physical treatment experienced by some journalists of the ypek Media Group at the hands of police who entered the BugE-n daily's headquarters to escort new government-backed management trustees into the building last month.

Erdem, who is a member of the CHP's commission to monitor the pressure on the media, drew attention to the oppression of journalists by stating that the government is administering an ever-greater dosage of pressure.

He said the BYEGM, in a bid to seize the cards, is trying to renew the press cards of journalists despite it being before the specified date for renewal. Erdem criticized the AK Party government, saying they have created a "media army full of hitmen."

In January, the BYEGM made a highly controversial decision to block a number of journalists from acquiring permanent press cards during a meeting in December.

Although the Press Card Commission, which is assigned to assess a journalist's eligibility to obtain a press card, authorized the issuance of press cards for 208 new applicants, the directorate declined to award cards to a number of journalists applying to extend the validity of cards already in their possession.

According to the Turkish Press Law, journalists who complete 20 years of service become eligible for permanent press cards.

Among the journalists who were denied a press card were former Zaman Editor-in-Chief Ekrem Dumanly, Zaman Deputy Editor-in-Chief Mehmet KamyE-, TV producer CE-neyt Euzdemir, HE-rriyet Daily News Editor-in-Chief Murat Yetkin and Aksiyon Editor-in-Chief BE-lent Korucu. Many other prominent journalists and TV producers also suffered the same fate.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Nov 6, 2015
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