In my blog of 25 September ‘Defending journalism in Turkey’ I described the interview I gave with Ugur Güç, TGS president, on an evening news programme on IMC TV. We discussed the increasing number of prosecutions against journalists and during the interview presenter Banu Güven, mentioned that their television station had been threatened with closure. Within two weeks the station had been taken off air, their equipment seized and the journalists and other media and support workers joined the growing numbers of unemployed, reported on the EFJ web site at 2,500 – see http://europeanjournalists.org/blog/2016/10/24/turkey-107-journalists-in-prison-and-2500-others-left-unemployed/ of 24 October. Recently I received an eye witness account of the raid leading up to the closure of IMC TV which is reproduced below:
I was in Sarajevo for my last meeting as a member of the EFJ steering committee (board) and the Federation’s general meeting held between 24 – 27 April. Having served three three yearly terms over the past 12 years, I was longer eligible to stand for the steering committee.
Sarajevo is best known for three events. The first is the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne and his wife on 28th June 1914, which led to the outbreak of the First World War. The second is that it was the venue for the winter Olympic Games in 1984. The third and more recent is the siege of the city for 1,425 days between 5 April 1992 and 29 February 1996, during the civil war in the former republic of Yugoslavia. Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, was encircled by the army of Republika Srpska and by the time the siege was raised a total of 13,952 people had been killed including 5,434 civilians. It had lasted a year longer than the siege of Leningrad. A year later a report by the Council of Europe’s Committee on Culture and Education commented:
On 14 April, eleven days after the Panama Papers confirmed the central role of journalists and whistle-blowers in revealing illegal or unethical business practices, the European Parliament approved rules to protect corporate trade secrets that could seriously hinder future revelations. Although the purpose of the Trade Secrets Directive is to protect firms within the EU from corporate espionage by foreign rivals, on closer examination many feel that business could use the law to prosecute journalists and whistle-blowers for exposing corporate bad behavior.