With democracy teetering on the edge and the country accelerating towards dictatorship under the autocratic rule of President Recep Tayip Erdogan, last Saturday’s 3rd annual Solidarity with the People of Turkey(SPOT) conference in London brought together some 200 people. The purpose was to hear eye witness reports from Turkey and the Kurdish community and to plan future solidarity action aimed at calling to account the Turkish government and to challenge the complicity of European governments in their support for the Erdogan regime.
In an act of solidarity the NUJ has decided to adopt jailed journalist Ayşe Düzkan. Ayşe, is a member of the board of Disk-Is, one of the NUJ’s sister unions in Turkey and has been defending herself for the last 18 months at various court hearings. Finally she was indicted earlier this month and was sentenced to 18 months in jail. The Istanbul court jailed her and other colleagues on charges of “propagandising for a terrorist organisation”.
The EFJ-IFJ have launched a new project called Organising Turkey’s human rights based journalism fit for the digital age which is financially supported by the European Union. Based on the network and the strength of their affiliates, the federations are aiming to improve working conditions, to provide solidarity and to train journalists in Turkey through five specific work packages covering various aspects of the media environment.