May 3, 2022– On the occasion of the United Nations World Press Freedom Day, I join the international community in affirming the importance of freedom of the press all over the world and supporting journalists to perform their duties without any hindrance.
Freedom is what makes a human truly human. Freedom of expression and of the press also are very important fundamental freedoms for the social health of a society. Unfortunately, these freedoms are not respected in many parts of the world today. Journalists trying to fulfill their duties are faced with all kinds of obstacles, sometimes they are tried to be intimidated by unlawful threats and harassment, and sometimes by being imprisoned by a judiciary that is subordinated to politics.
Unfortunately, my homeland, Turkey, is at the bottom of the world’s list of countries for freedom of the press. No voice is allowed, except for those media organs and voices that accept to work as a propaganda tool of the government. It is as if the Turkish society is exposed to a wholesale brainwashing. We must commend the heroic and admirable actions of journalists who had to go abroad to avoid persecution, who were subjected to stalking, threats and harassment in the places they sought refuge, but who still are trying to do their duty.
On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, I pray to God Almighty to bring us to the days when all fundamental human rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression and the press, will be respected and upheld.
Download statement in PDF.