Turkey now has more journalists in jail than any other country in the world. Since the failed coup in July of this year, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has used his extended powers to stifle opposition and free speech.
Part of this purge of the government’s opponents has been the arrest, detention and harassment of journalists. One hundred and thirty journalists are being detained as a result of the Erdogan government’s systematic dismantling of human rights, freedoms, and democracy in Turkish society in order to establish authoritarian rule. On October 31, thirteen employees of the Cumhuryiet, Turkey’s largest secular newspaper, were detained. Fifteen pro-Kurdish news sources have been shut down by the government in the last three months.
Freedom of the press and freedom of speech are the cornerstones of a democratic society. Without these, the exercise of basic human rights is imposable. The Confederation of Canadian Unions calls on the Turkish Government to respect human rights, democracy, and the rule of law and release all 130 journalists detained in the country without delay.
Journalism is not a crime.