Target: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Goal: Release detained journalists and reopen closed media outlets.
Over 60 journalists have been detained by the Turkish government after the attempted July 15th coup. In addition, 131 news media outlets have also been forcibly closed. President Erdoğan’s government has claimed that these people and outlets helped contribute to the attempted military overthrow. While Turkey claims itself a democracy, this kind of tactic has been used around the world by totalitarian regimes to silence criticism.
On July 27th, the Turkish government decreed the closure of 131 news outlets and sent 47 arrest warrants to various members of the Zaman newspaper, claiming that they are tied to the coup. On top of all this, the government has arrested or fired thousands of government employees, teachers and intellectuals. All of these warrants are based on accusations that these people are tied to the Gulen movement, led by US-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen. This is really an excuse to insight fear and distrust into the media and civilian populations. It is not only unethical, but a violation of human rights.
By signing the petition below, you will help urge President Erdogan to restore freedom to the press and tell his government that their press restrictions are a violation of human rights.
Dear President Erdogan,
The detention of journalists and closure of media outlets is not only unethical but a human rights violation. It is not a crime to question the government and by arresting these people and closing these organizations, your government not only denies the rights of journalists but the rights of your citizens to access the news.
The attempted coup against your government is a grave matter and the perpetrators should be prosecuted. However, if there is a lack of evidence suggesting that these people and organizations have directly taken part in the attempted overthrow, they must be released and their outlets reopened. Criticism of the government both in peacetime and during a state of emergency is not a crime. However, treating such critiques as criminal acts, is unlawful. I am urging you to release these detainees and reopen these news outlets.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Darwinek