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EuiB report: Intimidation of media still continuing after June 7.

ySTANBUL (CyHAN)- The Press for Freedom (EuiB) platform, which issues monthly newsletters about the state of press freedom in Turkey, has stated in its June issue that the widespread expectations of wider freedoms after Turkey's June 7 parliamentary election remain unfulfilled and that members of the press are still subject to pressure and intimidation.

The EuiB's June report states that there were expectations of a compromise to restore the country's freedoms after the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) 13-year period of single-party rule ended following the June 7 elections, but that pressure on the press has continued following the election. The EuiB project, which is funded by the European Union and implemented by the Turkish Journalists Association (TGC), aims to document violations of freedom and freedom of expression in its monthly reports.

The report describes President Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an's "oversensitivity" towards alleged slander of him and his family as "bordering on intolerance." As an example, the report mentions the suspended sentence handed down by a court to Today's Zaman Editor-in-Chief BE-lent KeneE- for allegedly slandering the president on Twitter. The report also underlines a senior UN official's condemnation of KeneE-'s punishment with reference to the UN principle of journalists' freedom to work without harassment.

The report provides further examples of the intolerance Erdoy-an has shown to journalists even after the election, mentioning the sentencing of actor BaryE- Atay for "slander in the press," the psychiatrist Dr. Ahmet Koyuncu for slander on social media and the Cumhuriyet daily's EuzgE-r Mumcu for a report that was claimed to contain "slander against the president."

The report also states that the government's efforts to "bring journalists into line" even reached as far as the USA, mentioning Erdoy-an's demand for an investigation into Tolga TanyE-, a Turkish journalist based in Washington, over whether he had slandered against Erdoy-an in a book.

Journalists continue to lose their jobs and columnists have been blacklisted even after the general election, according to the report. It also claims that public broadcasters have been accused of being part of the faith-based GE-len community -- which the AK Party government declared to be a terrorist organization without providing any evidence -- and reporters have been taken into custody while accessing news sources.

The EuiB report also mentions research conducted by the Turkish Publishers Association (TYB), which claims that 339 journalists and media employees have been either fired or forced to resign after June 7.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Jul 10, 2015
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