The young republic of Turkey has a long history when it comes to the violation of press freedom and oppression of journalists. Hasan Fehmi, the lead writer of the paper ‘Serbesti’ (‘Freedom’), was killed in 1909, making the first murder even older than the establishment of the modern Republic of Turkey. Throughout those years we have witnessed various types of repression against journalism in Turkey. There have been journalists who were threatened with jail; journalists who have been denied their basic rights of protecting their sources; journalists who were prosecuted with sham trials and put in jail; journalists who were tortured and last but not least, journalists who were killed. We regret to say that we have witnessed the repetitions of these shameful events even with an increasing amount in the last 10 years. Today Turkey imprisons more journalists than any other country on earth, surpassing authoritarian regimes such as Iran, China and North Korea. What is more concerning is that the majority of these journalists are accused of ‘terrorism’. The last victim of this hysteria is Füsun Erdoğan.
Füsun Erdoğan is a journalist who had been held in prison for 7 years before being convicted to lifelong imprisonment last November. Next to her journalist identity, Erdoğan is also a writer and founder of the ‘Özgür Radyo’ (Free Radio). She is a proud socialist who has never been involved in any kind of violent action against no institution nor towards any person. Yet, being a journalist with a leftist worldview – putting justice, equality and freedom before other priorities – is enough to be sued and sentenced to disproportional punishments.
Füsun Erdoğan is also a Dutch citizen. As the Gezi Solidarity Netherlands, we think that she deserves the necessary attention and effort from the Dutch state authorities in order to make her regain her freedom; nothing more or nothing less than what an average Dutch citizen deserves. We invite her Dutch colleagues to stand beside her and her family and show solidarity with her cause. We would like to invite the Dutch public to contribute to our struggle to bring Füsun Erdoğan back to her family. Moreover and more importantly, we want to call out to the Turkish state and say
Füsun Erdoğan is not a terrorist, let her free!
Gezi Solidarity Netherlands