Pressure on free press increases in Çukurova

ADANA- While the pressure on free press continues, Leyla Yıldız, representative of Özgürlükçü Demokrasi Newspaper of Çukurova,said: “We owe a debt to this people, someone should reveal the truths. We do our share, we will follow the truths and reality whatever it may costs.”

Intimidation and pressure policies started towards free press workers before the declaration of the state of emergency (OHAL) have continued along with the closure of the press outlets, arrest of journalists after the declaration of OHAL. In the last two months, eight journalists have been detained and four journalists have been jailed in Çukurova region. Leyla Yıldız, representative of Özgürlükçü Demokrasi (Freedomist Democracy) Newspaper of Çukurova commented on the pressure on journalists and she said that the journalists have been subjected to pressure because they give the revealed truths to the people.

‘Our newspaper is a legal newspaper’

Stating that arrests and detention of journalists have become intense, particularly in Mersin and Adana, Leyla said that the detention continues arbitrary. “Our eight colleagues were detained and our four colleagues were jailed in Çukurova region in two months. They have been tried for several allegations such as being member of a terrorist organization or making propaganda of a terrorist organization,” said Leyla and she added they were told the reason of detention as ‘the newspaper is banned.’

Emphasizing that the Özgürlükçü Demokrasi Newspaper is a legal newspaper, Leyla said: “Our newspaper is a newspaper that sell in newsagents. Our newspaper is also read on TV channels and is confirmed by Istanbul Küçükçekmece Chief Public Prosecution Office, so they apply pressure on distributors of newspapers, which was allowed by them in the past, by saying it is banned newspaper.”

‘They also threaten subscribers of the newspaper’

Leyla, who drew attention of increasing pressures, not only on the workers of newspaper but also on correspondents, said: “They warn newspaper readers to not buy our newspaper. While our workers are distributing the newspapers, they threaten them and they take their photograph. Our 12 distributors were detained in 2017 just in Mersin. Our four distributors were jailed in Çukurova region. Lastly, our colleague Hamdullah Bayram was detained during the house raids conducted in Urfa and we don’t know why he is still in custody.”

‘Our colleagues’ money was confiscated ’

Leyla said she had been also detained in the past few days and she described what she had faced as follows: “Recently I and my colleague Murat Karakaş were detained in the Ceyhan district of Adana while we were distributing the legal Özgür Toplum (Free Society) magazine. We were detained on charges of making propaganda of a terrorist organization and then we were sent to the court for aiding and abetting a terrorist organization. They took my money which I kept it for hospital while they were detaining us. They also took my colleague’s money. This is openly an usurpation. They seize the legal magazine for supporting a terrorist organization.”

‘We will continue to write the truths and to give information to the people’

Leyla said that the reason of pressure on free press is to give the truth news to the people and she added: “They do this because we don’t shut our eyes. Our newspaper is a bridge between people and truths. We all know the reason of arrest of Dihaber correspondent Erdoğan Alayamut. He arrested because he revealed secrets of the state, and revealed all going on dirty games on Rojava border.”

Saying that they will continue to follow the truths whatever it costs, Leyla said, “We owe a debt to the people, someone should reveal the truths. We do our share, we will follow the truths and reality whatever it may costs. We will continue to write the truths and to give information to the people.”