The EBU has urged the Turkish government to exercise restraint and respect freedom of expression and the freedom of the media following a decree it enacted on July 27.
This saw the closure of three news agencies, 16 television and 23 radio stations, 15 magazines, 45 newspapers and 29 publishers and distributors.
In a statement, the EBU also condemns the arrest of 89 journalists and the harassment and intimidation of local and international reporters covering the aftermath of the failed coup and the restrictions placed on travel for journalists both leaving and returning to Turkey.
According to its DG Ingrid Deltenre, “We believe the right to freedom of expression and information takes precedence over political or economic interests, and the Turkish government has a duty to ensure and protect this fundamental cornerstone of democracy”.
In the statement, the EBU adds that it is deeply alarmed by the attack on the studios and the threats made against employees of its member TRT on July 15th. The violation of the independence of public service media is an attack on democracy and the fundamental rights of citizens.
Attempts to restrict access to news and information pose a huge threat to the functioning of democracy.
The EBU concludes by saying that it believes above all that free and critical journalism plays an indispensable role in supporting a peaceful and prosperous society and it therefore calls on the Turkish government to ensure that the media can operate without constraint going forward and free from fear and threats.