National Press Club

National Press Club Dismayed Over Reported Arrests of Turkish Journalists

December 14, 2014 | By John M. Donnelly | jdonnelly@cq.com

The National Press Club president expressed concern over reports that Turkish authorities have arrested a couple of dozen people in what appears to be a crackdown on media outlets that are critical of the Turkish government.

In an apparent attempt to silence detractors of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, at least 24 people were arrested Dec. 14, including at the offices of Today's Zaman newspaper and STV television news, reports indicate. Those detained reportedly included journalists and television producers.

The State Department issued a statement Dec. 14 urging Turkey to ensure its actions do not violate media freedom, judicial independence and due process.

"Turkish President Erdogan should know that American journalists are concerned about reports that his government is assaulting a free press in his country," said NPC President Myron Belkind. "If these reported actions occurred, they should be condemned in the strongest terms, particularly since Turkey is a U.S. ally, NATO member and ostensibly a democracy."

The National Press Club, based in Washington, D.C., is the world's leading professional organization for journalists. Through its Press Freedom Committee, the organization speaks out on behalf of transparency and against repression of free expression.