New York, October 9, 2015–The Committee to Protect Journalists denounces today’s arrest in Istanbul of Bülent Keneş, the editor-in-chief of the English-language daily newspaper Today’s Zaman. Keneş was taken from his office by police after İstanbul 5th Penal Judge of Peace Cevdet Özcan issued the warrant for his arrest on charges of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a series of tweets, according to local press reports.
“We call on Turkish authorities to immediately release Bülent Keneş and stop their relentless crackdown on the press,” CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. “Not a day passes by without a prosecution, arrest, attack, or obstruction of independent or opposition voices in Turkey. Such a record does not befit a modern democracy that aspires to enter the European Union.”
In its new report “Balancing Act: Press Freedom at Risk as EU Struggles to Match Action with Values,” released in Brussels last week, CPJ highlights Turkey’s abysmal press freedom record and calls on the European Union to make press freedom a focal point in its accession negotiations with the country.