Intimidation of Turkish journalist by political leadership threatens media freedom and journalists' safety, says OSCE media freedom representative
VIENNA, 8 August 2014 – Dunja Mijatović, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media expressed concern today over the targeting of prominent Turkish journalist Amberin Zaman by the highest authorities in Turkey.
”I am alarmed by the latest example of intimidation of and threats towards journalists in Turkey,” Mijatović said. ”Critical ideas are indispensable elements of democratic debates, and they need to be safeguarded and not attacked by the authorities.”
On 7 August, during a campaign rally in the southern province of Malatya, the Prime Minister of Turkey directly and severely criticized journalist Amberin Zaman, which resulted in a smear campaign against her, including on social media.
”The widespread smear campaign against Amberin Zaman threatens her safety,” the Representative said.
Zaman has worked as Turkey correspondent of The Economist for 15 years and is a columnist for the Turkish newspaper Taraf. The Prime Minister’s remarks follow Zaman’s comments made on CNN Türk on 5 August.
Representative Miajtović has been calling for increased freedom of expression in Turkey since she took office in 2010. Her earlier statements can be found at www.osce.org/fom.
The OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media observes media developments in all 57 OSCE participating States. She provides early warning on violations of freedom of expression and media freedom and promotes full compliance with OSCE media freedom commitments. Learn more at www.osce.org/fom, Twitter: @OSCE_RFoM and on facebook.com/osce.rfom.