WIEN. The press release of the Turkish Cultural Community in Austria (TKG) on May 3rd is Press Freedom Day is as follows: Today, May 3rd, is International Press Freedom Day and the word “international” should be taken very seriously here.
Austria’s media diversity is at risk
TKG is pleased that Austria has slightly improved in the press freedom index of Reporters Without Borders (RSF). Austria ranks 29th out of 180 countries. Nevertheless, the warning came on the 3rd: Media diversity is under massive threat in the Republic of Austria, as the editors-in-chief of the Austrian print media warn together with the publishers. The protest against the fatal media policy of the federal government should be taken very seriously and the planned law must be corrected in order to avert damage from journalism and to protect media diversity in the Republic of Austria.
Media diversity and freedom of the press in Türkiye are in a deep coma
In Turkey, people from almost all walks of life are prosecuted and arrested by Erdogan’s AKP government simply for expressing their critical opinions. Journalists in particular have to fear for their safety there. The AKP government has changed the capital structure of the mainstream media; now more than 90 percent is owned by pro-government capital. The mainstream media in Turkey serves more to hide the truth through deepfake news than to report factual news. Over 600 journalists have been arrested in Turkey in the past six years. Everything in Erdogan’s AKP Türkiye smells of “McCarthyism”. The arrests are further proof that the AKP government has successively, step by step, muzzled all oppositional liberal media and individuals using McCarthy methods.
Turkey is ranked 153rd out of 180 countries in the Reporters Without Borders (RoG) Press Freedom Index. This figure makes it very clear where the country actually stands in terms of freedom of the press and freedom of expression. The organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has summarized how the Turkish government is pressuring journalists with physical violence, arrests and digital persecution and preventing critical reporting on state failures after the devastating earthquake of February 6, 2023 in the Turkish-Syrian border region seeks.
TKG Chairman Birol Kilic: “We demand freedom of thought in Turkey! For us, freedom of thought is freedom of thought, enlightenment, especially in ideological, political matters and especially against corruption and oppression. Today, May 3rd, the International Day of Press Freedom, free Turkish journalists expect solidarity and not international appeasement. The AKP Erdogan government did not want and does not want Turkey to have a self-confident, secular, free, modern middle class that existed and is growing. We all need freedom of thought, media diversity and freedom of the press for democratic participation and democratic action. We also want that for Turkey on the 3rd of May, but also for Austria.”
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