Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   23 July

Kadri Gürsel’s trial showed charges against Turkish journalists are ungrounded - Harlem Désir

YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 26, ARMENPRESS. OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Harlem Désir has saluted the release of the editor-in-chief of the Turkish Cumhuriyet periodical, famous journalist Kadri Gürsel’, who had been in prison for nearly one year. Harlem Désir said that charges against him should be dropped immediately.

“The trial showed that the charges against him and his colleagues from Cumhuriyet are groundless. That’s why I confidently call on the Turkish authorities to set free all the detained journalists of Cumhuriyet and drop all the charges”, ARMENPRESS reports Désir saying.

According to him, particularly pre-trial detention and regular absence of evidence show the problems facing the journalists in Turkey. “All the journalists that have been imprisoned for their professional job should be released”, he said.

The OSCE representative urged the Turkish authorities to engage in legal and political reforms that will open a path to freedom of speech for mass media.

After nearly a year in jail, leading Turkish journalist Kadri Gursel was released on September 25 by order of an Istanbul court ahead of trial. Sixteen other Cumhuriyet staff members have been charged with links to terror groups. About 200 people gathered outside the courthouse on Monday, carrying portraits of the detained journalists and banners with slogans including "Freedom for journalists" and "Independent press cannot be silenced.

Kadri Gursel is the author of numerous articles on the normalization of relations between Armenia and Turkey. In one of his articles he called on Azerbaijani to forget about Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh). During his visit to Yerevan he laid flowers at the monument eternalizing the memory of the Armenian Genocide victims.

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