Turkey: protests, 22 reporters fired, 'resignation' for 37

Union, they had covered Gezi Park protests

23 July, 12:04

    (ANSAmed) - ANKARA, JULY 23 - At least 22 Turkish reporters have been fired over their coverage of anti-government protests in the past few weeks and another 37 have been forced to resign, according to the union representing Turkey's journalists, Tgs.

    'These layoffs and resignations are mostly connected with censorship policies followed by many media outlets over the Gezi Park protest,' the president of Tgs in Istanbul, Gokhan Dumus, was quoted as saying by Cumhuriyet. 'Our colleagues worked hard to guarantee the public's right to be informed and they paid a high price for it when they lost their jobs. Some were censored, others saw their TV shows closed'.

    Dumus added that 'some journalists were fired for some Tweets including one who tweeted 'hi' to a demonstrator in Gezi'.

    Anti-government demonstrations were ignored by the main Turkish television networks under government pressure, mostly in the initial phase of protests, according to demonstrators. The main news channel broadcast a documentary on penguins during the first violent clashes in Gezi Park. Ever since then, penguins have become the symbol of the revolt of Turkish youth.

    According to the international Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the government of Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan 'is engaged in a major offensive to silence critical journalists through detention, legal procedures and official intimidations' in 'one of the most sweeping campaigns against freedom of the press in recent history'. Turkey, said CPJ, has the highest number of jailed reporters in the world.

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