“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want to print. Everything else is public relations.” These words by George Orwell describe the essence of why freedom of expression and the press has to be protected. Yavuz Baydar had his rights violated, when he was fired from his job at the pro-government Sabah daily for critizising the Turkish government on its handling of the Gezi Park protests. Yavuz Baydar is not the only one. More than 20 journalists have been sacked for the same reason.
The Turkish government is perceivably tightening freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Reporters without Borders have ranked Turkey 154th (out of 179 countries) and in the latest Freedom of the Press Report, presented at the FNF Brussels office in May, Turkey’s Press Status remains at “partly free”. These developments are cause for great concern. The case of Yavuz Baydar is just one example of how the situation for journalists has aggravated. Join us to hear Baydar’s story and to discuss possibilities for restoring the fundamental rights of freedom of the press and expression to Turkey.