Let Presses Role!

The institution of a free press is among the most important factors in emergence of a society based on human rights. Members of the media, trade unions and opposition parties demonstrated in Istanbul and Ankara against a government crackdown on journalists by the Justice and Development Party of Turkey. Human Rights groups called for release of several members of the Turkish press who have been detained in conjunction with investigations into whether the Turkish army has been engaged in plans to overthrow the government. The government has a list of dozens who are being kept under surveillance as prosecutors continue digging into the Engenekon situation.

The current Turkish government has all too frequently placed pressure on journalists when problems emerge. The Kurdish press has long been the object of official pressures on grounds they aid and abet hostile groups opposed to the current government. It is one thing to be concerned about potential spies or plotters, it is another to fabricate such problems.