OSCE Representative condemns police raid against media outlets in Turkey, calls on authorities to restore and ensure media pluralism

29 October 2015 / By Diplomatic Intelligence.eu

Police raiding offices of media outlets, detaining journalists, and using tear gas and water cannons, is unacceptable, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović said Wednesday.

“This morning’s raid by the police on the television channels Kanaltürk and Bugün TV is a clear obstruction of media freedom,” Mijatović said. “The authorities must ensure that the media can work freely and in a safe environment, particularly during an election period.”

In the early hours of 28 October, special operations police forces raided the Istanbul offices of television channels Kanaltürk and Bugün TV, belonging to the İpek Media Group. Police used tear gas and water cannons on the crowd gathered outside the building, which included several journalists.

Some of the journalists were reportedly taken into police custody and employees were not allowed to enter the buildings. Police forces reportedly took Kanaltürk off the air and have attempted to switch off Bugün TV as well.

“Access to pluralistic information is indispensable in any democracy,” Mijatović said. “The television channels must be able to resume broadcasting immediately.”

“I trust that my call will be taken into consideration and that the authorities will do their utmost to reverse this worrying trend,” Mijatović said.

The Representative also noted concerns expressed by local and international NGOs regarding today’s events.

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