Turkey: Journalists’ association presents award to press freedom groups

Index on Censorship is delighted to be one of the nine groups honoured by the Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) with this year’s Press Freedom Prize.

TGC announced on Wednesday that it was awarding a coalition of international press freedom organisations with the award “for the unique solidarity unparalleled in the past, it showed against the assaults on press freedom in Turkey, for its efforts to bring to international platforms the violation of rights and for instilling in their Turkish colleagues the feeling that they are not alone.”

The organisations – Reporters Without Frontiers, Committee for the Protection of Journalists, International PEN, International Press Institute, Index on Censorship, International Federation of Journalists, European Federation of Journalists, Ethical Journalism Network, Article 19 and World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers – have worked together in a number of ways to bring attention to the increasing attacks on media freedom by the Turkish government.

This includes press freedom monitoring and advocacy missions, petitions and joint statements to governmental and international bodies in an effort to highlight the dangerous environment in which journalists now operate.

“This is a great honour,” said Index senior advocacy officer Melody Patry, who took part in the coalition’s emergency press freedom mission last October. “Members of the press in Turkey are facing relentless attacks and for the coalition to receive this prize sends a strong message that international solidarity is crucial to supporting media freedom in the country.”

Press freedom in Turkey has declined particularly rapidly in the last six months. Some 70 incidents have been recorded on Index’s Mapping Media Freedom database since the beginning of the year, including the death of three journalists and 34 incidents of arrest and detention.

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