Turkey: Annual international press freedom mission to Ankara, Diyarbakır and Istanbul
Between 2 and 5 October 2023, five international media freedom organisations will conduct an annual joint press freedom mission to Ankara, Diyarbakır and Istanbul. The mission will focus on the state of media freedom, the challenges experienced by journalists, media workers and the media landscape in general in the aftermath of devastating earthquakes, and the parliamentary and presidential elections this year.
The mission will start with a series of meetings with representatives of different political parties, the media regulator RTÜK, the Constitutional Court, journalism and media associations, and international mission representatives. As part of the mission, the delegation will also monitor the first hearing of Tele1 TV director Merdan Yanardağ in Istanbul who has been in prison since 27 June. On the last day of the mission, simultaneous press conferences will be held in Istanbul and Diyarbakır.
The mission will be led by the International Press Institute (IPI) as part of its #FreeTurkeyJournalists campaign and the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), and will be joined by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT), as well as the Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
During the visit, the delegation will meet with leading media professionals, political officials, state representatives, international diplomatic missions, and other relevant stakeholders in the country. As part of the annual press freedom mission, the delegation confirms the long-standing commitment of the participating organisations to improving press freedom in the country. The delegation will examine the problems experienced by journalists and media workers in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in February 2023, as well as during the election period in the spring, threats to the safety of journalists and media pluralism, and legal safeguards.
On 5 October, the delegation will hold simultaneous press conferences in Diyarbakır and Istanbul to present initial observations and recommendations. A detailed mission report will be published by the end of the year.
This mission was coordinated as part of IPI’s #FreeTurkeyJournalists campaign and in cooperation with Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) partners. The MFRR is a Europe-wide mechanism which tracks, monitors, and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and candidate countries.