15 July 1996


Police beat photographers and reporters covering demonstration

On the afternoon of 15 July 1996, police officers beat five
photographers and reporters who were covering a demonstration
against police brutality held in front of the office of the
Governor of Istanbul. According to eyewitness accounts, policemen
intentionally targeted journalists, beating them and breaking
their cameras.

Several reporters fled the police and took shelter in the office
of the Turkish Journalists Association. Three police officers
chased these journalists. The officers forced their way into the
office of the Association. The Secretary General of the
Journalists Association, Leyla Tavsanoglu, objected to the police
raid and told the policemen that they were pursuing legitimate
journalists. The policemen told her that the journalists were
terrorists. The policemen proceeded to drag several journalists
out of the Association's office. Among those beaten and detained
were Ms. Hatice Tuncer, a reporter for the daily newspaper
"Cumhuriyet", and Ms. Sevil Erdogan, a reporter for the daily
"Siyah Beyaz". The journalists were later released.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to the Turkish Prime Minister:

  • expressing fears that unchecked police brutality against
    journalists will have a chilling effect on press freedom in Turkey
  • respectfully urging that he order an investigation into the
    police beating of journalists covering the 15 July demonstration
    in Istanbul and see to it that those officers who carried out the
    beatings are brought to justice
  • respectfully reiterating calls for the government to issue clear
    directives to the police that aim at preventing the abuse of
    journalists carrying out their professional duties

    Appeals To

    His Excellency Necmettin Erbakan
    Prime Minister
    Office of the Prime Minister
    Ankara, Turkey
    Fax: +90 312 417 0476 or +90 312 230 8896

    Please copy appeals to the originator if possible.

  • Source

    Committee to Protect Journalists
    330 7th Ave., 11th Floor
    New York, NY 10001
    info (@) cpj.org
    Fax:+1 212 465 9568
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