A solidarity march was held in Istanbul on Saturday in support of the many journalist who have been jailed in Turkey.
Around 200 people gathered at the Mehmet Ayvalıtaş Park in the Kadıköy district of Istanbul carrying placards reading “Gazetecilere Özgürlük” (Freedom to Journalists).
Journalists and families of currently arrested journalists and a number of MPs took part including, Barış Yarkadaş, Ali Şeker and Onursal Adıgüzel from the main opposition Republican People’s Party’s (CHP) and Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) deputy group chair and Istanbul MP Filiz Kerestecioğlu.
The group started the march in Kadıköy’s General Asım Gündüz Street, chanting slogans including “Justice right now, freedom right now,” “Don’t be afraid to shout: Free press is a right,” and “Ahmet [Şık] will come out [of prison] and write again,” referring to the jailed daily Cumhuriyet reporter.
Journalist Gülşah Karadağ read out a statement on behalf of the group after a 30-minute march to the Boğa Statue in central Kadıköy.
“We are here side by side. Every step that we take is for our friends who are in jail due to their opinions, supporting their patience and their will. None of us can be free as long as dozens of journalists are jailed. The jailing of journalists conceals the truth and prevents lies from being revealed. It tramples rights, law and justice,” Karadağ said.
According to the Turkish Journalists’ Association, around 160 journalists are currently in jail in the country.