WHY THE PLATFORM FOR SOLIDARITY WITH IMPRISONED JOURNALISTS (TGDP) HAS BEEN FOUNDED AND WHY IT STILL DRAWS FIRE FROM GOVERNMENT
The Platform for Solidarity with Imprisoned Journalists (TGDP) has been founded at 2nd of February, 2004 by a group of opponent journalists. At that time, there were 10 journalists in prison, of which the majority from Kurdish and socialist opponent press, imprisoned because of immaterial averments while they were doing their journalist job. For example the chief editor of weekly İşçi Köylü (“Worker and Peasant”) had been imprisoned because he did an interview with a guerilla fighter. The institutions like Press Council and Community of Turkish Journalists were not defending those journalists at all, they even were not recognizing them as journalist. The professional organizations of press workers were not interested with the issue.
On the 13th of April, 2003, the editor and writer of the weekly Atılım, who had written the news of bombing actions had been immaterially accused of being “coordinator of bombing actions” and then jailed. Similarly, Atılım’s correspondent Kamber Saygılı had been accused of “producing bomb” and acquitted after resting in prison for 3 months. The professional organizations and the main stream media were in silence. At that period, the weekly Atılım, some opponent journalists and some relatives of imprisoned journalists had organized the campaign “Freedom for Imprisoned Journalists”, the campaign being started on April 2003 and finished on October 2004, when Necati Abay was freed to be judged without arrest. The Platform for Solidarity with Imprisoned Journalist has been founded in such a period, as a result of a concrete need. Since the date it has been founded, the spokesman of TGDP is Necati Abay.
TGDP makes activities for more than eight years demanding “Freedom for Imprisoned Journalists”. Platform expresses the reality of imprisoned journalists to the public opinions in Turkey and outside of Turkey. Some examples to its activities are campaign to send cards-letters to imprisoned journalists; participation to their trials; press statements and press conferences; petitions; regular statements about imprisoned journalists’ identities and their institutions; activities for abolition of Anti-Terror Law (TMY) which is defined as “Anti-Society Law” by opposition forces; activities for abolition of Special Courts (ÖYM) which is another version of martial courts and State Security Courts (DGM).
The Prime Minister Erdoğan has made his last speech about imprisoned journalists on 7th of March, 2012, at the provincial chairmen meeting of his party AKP. He violently criticized the list of 105 imprisoned journalists made by TGDP. He said that 6 people in this list do not exist; that only 6 of them had press cards and that even those ones are not arrested because of their journalistic activities; argument that he had repeated several times. But this reaction of Prime Minister Erdoğan also shows that TGDP is being accepted as a reference by the public opinion in Turkey and outside and that he platform is minded as a result of relations that it constructed with the international press occupational organizations and institutions of human rights.
It’s because of those brave principled activities telling the truths to national and foreign public opinions that TGDP has become a target for government. When Necati Abay has been recently sentenced to 18 years and 9 months, it was in fact TGDP that has been sentenced, because Abay is its spokesman since the beginning.
TGDP is supported by journalists, writers, deputies, the opponent press, and also thousands of people and institutions which are defending freedom of press and speech, and human rights.
Platform for Solidarity with Imprisoned Journalists (TGDP)
3th of July, 2012
CONTACT: Necati ABAY- Spokesman of TGDP, tel: (+90) 535 929 75 86,
Facebook: Necati Abay