Today is municipal election day in Turkey when voters elect local mayors and councillors. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the poll is about the “survival” of the country and his Justice and Development Party (AKP). Turkey is in recession, with 20% inflation and the lira which has plunged by a third in value, is causing bankruptcies. The result will be as a referendum on President Erdogan’s record and he knows it. One journalist who will not be covering the elections is NUJ member and Morning Star international editor Steve Sweeney. Last week he flew out to Istanbul, but on arrival at the airport he was detained without explanation, questioned, branded a terrorist and deported. Steve takes up the story: Continue reading NUJ member harassed and detained then deported by Turkish authorities for just doing his job
On 12 March 2018 the BBC website reported on the harassment of its Persian staff. It stated that it was making an unprecedented appeal to the UN to stop Iran from harassing its Persian service staff in London and their families in Iran. It said that Iran had intensified its campaign of intimidation, including threats, arrests of relatives and travel bans. According to the broadcaster, Iran began targeting the BBC’s Persian service after the disputed 2009 presidential election, when Tehran accused foreign powers of interference. The Iranian government disputed the allegations and accused BBC Persian of spreading false information to encourage the overthrow of the regime. Continue reading Stop the harassment of BBC Persian staff
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.