"This is bad news not only for Turkey, but for all of us"

"This is bad news not only for Turkey, but for all of us"

Remzi Lani, Director of Albanian Media Institute and SEENPM and SEE Media Observatory Board Member wrote a statement of support and solidarity with the arrested journalists in Turkey.

FOTO: Silent protest in solidarity with Turkish journalists at the Speak Up!2 conference

The last wave of arrests of journalists in Turkey is yet another testimony that the regime of President Erdogan refuses to tolerate media criticism and is on its way of a rapid consolidation of an authoritarian system. The arrest of our Turkish colleagues has rightly led to concern and indignation among journalists in the Balkans, a region that is linked to Turkey in numerous ways and where Turkey exerts a significant influence. The installment of an anti-media regime in Ankara is an ominous signal not only for Turkey, but for the whole region.
We express our solidarity to our Turkish colleagues. It is not the Turkish journalists that are acting against democracy, as the Prime Minister Davutoglu said, but it is rather the Turkish government that is undermining the foundations of the Turkish democracy, by attacking media freedom, as one of the cornerstones of democracy.
Freedom of speech  in essence is freedom after speech. Is this still possible in Turkey today? Is it still possible to state your opinion and not feel threatened? The recent arrests indicate this is not the case. Turkey is moving backwards and this is bad news not only for Turkey, but for all of us.


Read more about events in Turkey in the articles from our Turkish dossier:

Platform for Independent Journalism: No to the police state!

Yavuz Baydar: Media clampdown foretold

Cengiz Candar: Erdogan showing his true, authoritarian colors

Amanda Paul: The crushing of free media

Brave New Turkey

From democrat to autocrat: NATO ally turns back on group’s ideals

Arrests are nothing unexpected