Letter to Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu

November 13, 2014 4:35 PM ET

November 4, 2014

H.E. Ahmet Davutoğlu

Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey

Vekaletler Caddesi Başbakanlık Merkez Bina

P.K. 06573; Kızılay, Ankara

Turkey

Via Osman Sert, prime ministry press advisor, at [email protected]

Via Prime Ministry's Press Office, at [email protected]

Via Turkish Embassy in Washington, DC

Dear Prime Minister Davutoğlu,

We are writing to follow up on our October 2 meeting and to thank you for hosting our delegation and taking the time to discuss mutual concerns about Turkey's climate for press freedom. We found the conversation to be productive, and we welcomed your candor and openness in sharing your views about the role of the Turkish press and how you believe they behaved unethically.

We would like to reiterate our concern about the climate of intimidation for journalists who criticize Turkey's government policies and to emphasize our request that you and your office ensure that journalists are not vilified in the pro-state media. Vilification campaigns, CPJ research shows, have triggered threats against and harassment of the journalists targeted. Some have resulted in death threats.

We appreciate your stated commitment that your office would provide protection to journalists who have been threatened in retaliation for their work, which you made to us in the context of the recent intimidation campaign against The Economist's Turkey correspondent, Amberin Zaman.

We ask that you reiterate that commitment publicly and broaden it to all journalists working in Turkey, and we ask that you condemn any intimidation campaign against the media as unacceptable and as one that will carry consequences for the perpetrators.

Once again, thank you for your meeting with us last month. We look forward to our continued dialogue and engagement with you on these important issues.

Sincerely,

Joel Simon

CPJ Executive Director

CC List:

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of Turkey

Bekir Bozdağ, Turkey's Minister of Justice

Serdar Kılıç, Turkey's Ambassador to the United States

Sandra Mims Rowe, Chairman of the Board, Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)

Anne Garrels, CPJ board member

David Schlesinger, CPJ board member

Jacob Weisberg, CPJ board member

Andrew Alexander, CPJ board member

Steven Isenberg, CPJ board member

Mhamed Krichen, CPJ board member

Nina Ognianova, CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator

Alison Bethel McKenzie, Executive Director of the International Press Institute

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