December 17, 2018

Press Freedom

Turkey

Turkey September 7, 2006

H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Prime Minister
Office of the Prime Minister
Basbakanlik
Bakanliklar
06573 Ankara
Republic of Turkey
Fax: (011.90.312) 417-0476
 

Your Excellency:
 

We are writing on behalf of the Overseas Press Club of America to express our deep concern about the case involving Hrant Dink, his son and two other Armenian journalists, now pending in the Turkish courts. Our organization’s members are journalists with world-wide experience in news reporting.
 

As you are probably aware, Hrant Dink, managing editor of the Armenian-language weekly, Agos , was charged with trying to influence the course of justice by criticizing the six-month suspended sentence he received for “insulting Turkish identity.” However, a provincial judge found him not guilty, citing freedom of expression as grounds for the decision. This ruling, then, was overturned by an appeals court, and recently, a new hearing on his case was deferred until December. Dink’s son, Arat, and two other journalists have also been notified that they are to be tried on charges of attempting to influence the course of justice because they criticized the decision affecting Arat’s father. If convicted, they could face up to three years in prison.
 

Also, now Hrant Dink faces a new charge because, in an interview with the press, he referred to the massacre of Armenians in 1915 as “genocide.”
 

We are well aware that Turkey does not officially accept responsibility for the death of Armenians in 1915. However, we believe it is not in Turkey ‘s own interests in this year 2006 to prosecute independent journalists who are Turkish citizens for expressing a point of view on the tragic events that occurred more than 90 years ago, or who are criticizing court actions against them for expressing their opinions.
 

Particularly because Turkey ‘s application to join the European Union is currently pending, we hope you will take steps to see that the courts drop these charges against Mr. Dink, his son and their colleagues.

 

Respectfully yours,
George Bookman
Norman A. Schorr
Freedom of the Press Committee

cc:

 

H.E. Ahmet Necdet Sezer

President

Office of the President

Cumhurbaskanlugu kosku

Cankaya

06100 Ankara

Republic of Turkey

Fax: (011.90.312) 468-5026

 

Nabi Sensoy

Ambassador of Turkey to the U.S.A.

Embassy of the Republic of Turkey     

2525 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Washington , DC 20008

Fax: (202) 612-6744

 

Ambassador Baki Ilkin

Permanent Representative

Permanent Mission of the Republic of Turkey

to the United Nations

821 United Nations Plaza , 10th Floor     

New York , NY 10017         

Fax: (212) 949-0086

                    

Ross Wilson

U.S. Ambassador to Turkey

Embassy of the United States of America

Ataturk Bulvari 110

Kavaklidere

Turkey

Fax: (011.90.312) 467-2532

 

(OR: United States Embassy – Turkey

APO/FPO

PSC 93 Box 5000

APO , AE 09823-5000)

 

 

The Editor   The Editor

Agos   Cumhuriyet

Fax: (011.90) 247-5519   editor@cumhuriyet.com .tr

 

The Editor   The Editor

Hurriyet   Sabah

editor@hurriyetim.com.tr   editor@zaman.com.tr

 

The Editor

Sabah

editor@sabah.com.tr