World Association of News Publishers

World’s Press Calls for the Release of All Turkish Journalists

World’s Press Calls for the Release of All Turkish Journalists

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While welcoming the release from prison of six Turkish journalists, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum urge the Turkish authorities to do more to respect the freedom of the press and to end the harassment of critical voices.

Tuncay Özkan , Merdan Yanardağ, Yalçın Küçük, Hikmet Çiçek, Deniz Yıldırım and Turhan Özlü were released over the course of this week.

The journalists had been incarcerated as part of the “Ergenekon” case, an alleged clandestine, secularist ultra-nationalist conspiracy to undermine the Turkish state. The authorities have arrested hundreds of people from across Turkish society, charging over 300 with having links to what they describe as a terrorist organisation.

"While we welcome their release, they should not have been jailed in the first place," said WAN-IFRA Deputy CEO, Larry Kilman. "Turkey remains the world's largest jailer of journalists, and we call on the authorities to release them."

50 journalists remain in prison in Turkey.

Read the WAN-IFRA Board’s press freedom resolution on Turkey from December 2013:

WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore and India, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 websites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism, editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.

Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Deputy CEO and Director of Communications and Public Affairs, WAN-IFRA, 96 bis, rue Beaubourg, 75003 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 07. Fax: +33 1 42 78 92 33. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail:


Andrew Heslop's picture

Andrew Heslop


2014-03-13 19:33

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In countless countries, journalists, editors and publishers are physically attacked, imprisoned, censored, suspended or harassed for their work. WAN-IFRA is committed to defending freedom of expression by promoting a free and independent press around the world. Read more ...