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Erdoğan’s Journalists’ Day message: I have fought for your freedom

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, issuing a message on the occasion of 10 January Working Journalists Day, said, “Despite having from time to time suffered person harm from the media over my political life, I have fought to enable different voices and different cultures to express themselves and voice their ideas with ease, and will continue to do so.”
Yayınlanma tarihi: 10 Ocak 2018 Çarşamba, 14:41

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in the message he issued on the occasion of 10 January Working Journalists Day, “Journalism is not just reporting the news but, at the same time, making interpretation; but, unfortunately, certain people who take advantage of our sensitivity over freedom of thought engage in disinformation and try to disrupt the fraternity of our people and the integrity of our state with manipulative news. Turkey suffered greatly in the past from the tutelage crowd and their efforts to pressurise democracy, the law and elected governments through their media.”
 
The message that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan issued on the occasion of 10 January Working Journalists Day was as follows, “Equipping society and the public with the right to obtain true and impartial news is the clearest marker of democratic countries. It is also a requirement of democracy to enable media outlets to bring to our people events in all corners of our country and all over the world without suffering any restriction. A society that is open to the world, able to follow its country’s and people’s affairs, able to speak, is participative and does not shun the truth is only possible with free, transparent and fair media outlets.
 
Today, Turkey numbers among the world’s leading countries in the matters of press freedom, the most advanced communications technologies, social media, the internet and journalism. Despite having from time to time suffered person harm from the media over my political life, I have fought to enable different voices and different cultures to express themselves and voice their ideas with ease, and will continue to do so. Journalism is not just reporting the news but, at the same time, making an interpretation; but, unfortunately, certain people who take advantage of our sensitivity over freedom of thought engage in disinformation and try to disrupt the fraternity of our people and the integrity of our state with manipulative news. Turkey suffered greatly in the past from the tutelage crowd and their efforts to pressurise democracy, the law and elected governments through their media.
 
I believe that, with a separation having been made between those whose goal is really to report the news and those who turn news reporting into an instrument, our media outlets will perform their basic functions just as in developed countries; they will contribute towards raising, developing and strengthening our country’s standards of democracy. My greatest wish is for working journalists to move into a press environment in which they have conducive working conditions and are able to get their just rewards and develop themselves. With these thoughts I congratulate our members of the media on Working Journalists Day and wish them success.”
 
In 2017, one journalist per week was detained
 
It was stated in the Free Journalists' Initiative’s “2017 Press Rights Violations Report” that press outlets were closed and their assets were seized under state of emergency decrees with the force of law, with it noted that many journalists also lost their jobs under decrees with the force of law.
 
It is said in the report, “Journalists have forever been present in the corridors of judicial complexes over the year. Some of the journalists prosecuted over the year were jailed, while some of them were fined.”
 
The duress faced by journalists was set out item by item in the report:
 
* There are currently 165 journalists in detention in Turkey.
 
* Cases were filed against 189 journalists.
 
* 187 journalists were arrested, 58 journalists were detained and 15 journalists were released.
 
* The majority of journalists were arrested either while covering the news or in raids staged on their homes following tip-offs.
 
* 81 journalists were fined and jailed. The penalties come to a total of 183 years and four months in jail and 333,120 lira.
 
* 373 journalists appeared before a judge.
 
* One journalist was murdered, one journalist was threatened with death, while one was threatened with a gun. 18 journalists were attacked while covering the news.
 
* 35 press outlets were closed under decrees with the force of law. The assets of press and publishing outlets that had been closed the previous year were put up for sale by the Savings and Deposits Insurance Fund.
 
* Three stations were removed from TÜRKSAT and five stations had their licences cancelled. Access was blocked to the websites of 37 press and publishing outlets. (A further four sites had been censored at the time this report was issued.)
 
* Five journalists were deported and 25 were sacked. 100 journalists had their press cards revoked.

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