President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Norwegian PEN is appalled at the news that yet another defamation case is being brought against high profiled Turkish journalists. We need to express our grave concern at the arrest and detention of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül on 26 November 2015 on espionage and national security charges, which we believe is a politically motivated move attempting to silence opposition voices.
We must ask you to stop bringing cases against journalists and writers engaging in legitimate political criticism, as Turkey has the obligation to respect the right to freedom of expression under the European Convention on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which it is a state party. As Can Dündar puts it himself: «We are not traitors, we are journalists».
Norwegian PEN share PEN International’s belief that Dündar’s article constitute legitimate political criticism, and we call for the immediate and unconditional release of both journalists. Can Dündar and any other Cumhuriyet staff members should be given the chance to continue what is simply their duties as journalists.
Ms Brit Bildøen
Chair of Writers in Prison Committee
COPY: The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs