Turkish opposition MP Mithat Sancar criticizes arrest of journalists

ANKARA — In response to Turkish authorities arresting 16 journalists from various agencies who reported on the suspected use of chemical weapons by the Turkish Army against members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Member of Turkish Parliament Mithat Sancar (Halkların Demokratik Partisi, HDP) stated that the government President Recep Tayyip Erdogan fears press freedom, and is hostile to freedom in general.

“The press censorship law works to silence society as a whole, especially with the elections approaching,” he said.

Sancar indicated that the arrest of president of the Turkish Medical Association (Türk Tabipleri Birliği, TTB) Şebnem Korur Fincancı, and other arrests against labor and professional organizations, are aimed at intimidating them into silence and replacing them with officials appointed by the government.

Last month, the passage of Turkey’s new “Disinformation Law” was met with widespread criticism. The law expands censorship and tightens the grip on the media outlets and social media platforms by the government.