Jailed journalists’ letter to François Hollande

Monsieur le Président de la République française,

En tant que journalistes qui croient en l’objectif d’une adhésion complète à l’Union européenne et qui croient que la Turquie fait partie de la famille européenne, nous vous écrivons de la prison de Silivri.
La liberté de pensée et la liberté d’expression sont des valeurs indispensables de la civilisation à laquelle nous appartenons.

Nous sommes jugés et détenus pour avoir usé de ces libertés et pour avoir défendu le droit du public à l’information.
Le premier ministre turc, que vous rencontrerez ce week-end, et le régime qu’il représente sont connus pour leur politique et leurs pratiques qui ignorent complètement la liberté de la presse et les droits de l’Homme.
Vos gouvernements sont en train de négocier avec le gouvernement d’Ankara afin de trouver une solution à la crise des réfugiés, qui brise nos coeurs à tous.
Nous espérons sincèrement que vous trouverez une solution durable à ce problème au cours de ce sommet.
Nous espérons que votre volonté de trouver une solution n’entamera pas votre attachement aux droits de l’Homme, de la presse et d’expression, qui sont les valeurs fondamentales du monde occidental.
Nous rappelons que nos valeurs communes ne peuvent être préservées que par lasolidarité et par une position commune. Nous insistons sur le fait que cettesolidarité est très importante et urgente.
Au nom des journalistes détenus,
Can Dündar
Erdem Gül

About yavuzbaydar

Yavuz Baydar has been an award-winning Turkish journalist, whose professional activity spans nearly four decades. In December 2013, Baydar co-founded the independent media platform, P24, Punto24, to monitor the media sector of Turkey, as well as organizing surveys, and training workshops. Baydar wrote opinion columns, in Turkish, liberal daily Ozgur Dusunce and news site Haberdar, and in English, daily Today's Zaman, on domestic and foreign policy issues related to Turkey, and media matters, until all had to cease publications due to growing political oppression. Currently, he writes regular chronicles for Die Süddeutsche Zeitung, and opinion columns for the Arab Weekly, as well as analysis for Index on Censorship. Baydar blogs with the Huffington Post, sharing his his analysis and views on Turkish politics, the Middle East, Balkans, Europe, U.S-Turkish relations, human rights, free speech, press freedom, history, etc. His opinion articles appeared at the New York Times, the Guardian, El Pais, Svenska Dagbladet, and Al Jazeera English online. Turkey’s first news ombudsman, beginning at Milliyet daily in 1999, Baydar worked in the same role as reader representative until 2014. His work included reader complaints with content, and commentary on media ethics. Working in a tough professional climate had its costs: he was twice forced to leave his job, after his self-critical columns on journalistic flaws and fabricated news stories. Baydar worked as producer and news presenter in Swedish Radio &TV Corp. (SR) Stockholm, Sweden between 1979-1991; as correspondent for Scandinavia and Baltics for Turkish daily Cumhuriyet between 1980-1992, and the BBC World Service, in early 1990's. Returning to Turkey in 1994, he worked as reporter and ediytor for various outlets in print, as well as hosting debate porogrammes in public and private TV channels. Baydar studied informatics, cybernetics and, later, had his journalism ediucatiob in the University of Stockholm. Baydar served as president of the U.S. based International Organizaton of News Ombudsmen (ONO) in 2003. He was a Knight-Wallace Fellow at University of Michigan in 2004. Baydar was given the Special Award of the European Press Prize (EPP), for 'excellence in journalism', along with the Guardian and Der Spiegel in 2014. He won the Umbria Journalism Award in March 2014 and Caravella/Mare Nostrum Prize in 2015; both in Italy. Baydar completed an extensive research on self-censorship, corruption in media, and growing threats over journalism in Turkey as a Shorenstein Fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
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