On Sunday December 14, 2015, the Turkish police raided the headquarters of Zaman daily, which has the highest circulation in Turkey, and detained Mr. Ekrem Dumanlı, the editor-in-chief, Mr. Hidayet Karaca, the CEO of Samanyolu Media Group as well as other journalists, producers, and scriptwriters. This is another worrying signal for the deterioration of democracy and freedom of expression in Turkey. The independent media has been the target of the Turkish government due to its opposition to increasingly authoritarian policies and laxity against the serious corruption charges.
It is not surprising that these arrests took place just days before the anniversary of corruption scandal which shook the government of Turkey last year. Since then, the government has passed a series of legislations taking the country opposite direction from the democratic values and European Union.
Participants of Hizmet movement remain committed to democracy, fundamental human rights and freedoms. Detention of people in the media reflects a new level of repression by Erdogan’s regime.
We urge the proponents of freedom of expression and the friends of Turkey in Europe to stand against the anti-democratic actions, and raise their voice for the freedom of press, rule of law and fundamental rights to save the democracy in Turkey.