Support for Turkish journalists in jail and under curfew

Leading academics from Hong Kong, New Zealand, Mozambique and the USA have written to Turkey’s Prime Minister demanding the release of jailed journalist Mehmet Haransu.

Mehmet Baransu Mehmet Baransu (photo: Turgut Engin)

Haransu writes for the liberal national newspaper Taraf. He has been held for months without trial on the grounds that the charges are a matter of national security. In December 2015 he was fined the equivalent of 980 euros for allegedly insulting the president’s wife Emine Erdogan on Twitter.  

We urge the Republic of Turkey to restore the credibility of its commitment to a democratic future. A first step in convincing the world of its respect for the rule of law would be the release of Mehmet Baransu along with all imprisoned journalists and the dismissal of charges against him"

says the letter.

It is signed by more than twenty contributors to a book of investigative reports, Global Muckraking, edited by Anya Shiffrin

The book contains examples of investigative journalism from the past 100 years.
In Turkey fourteen journalists were in jail at the start of 2016, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

Meanwhile a group of eight journalists has volunteered to help colleagues working under curfew in the mainly Kurdish district of Diyarbakır. They call the initiative News Watch, and say they are acting in solidarity with fellow journalists under difficult conditions, and writing about it on their blog.