“I deplore the information reported by Turkish media and the Anadolu Agency that an Istanbul court took the decision to entrust to court-appointed trustees the control of the media group to which the newspapers Zaman and Today’s Zaman belong.
Considering what happened after a similar appointment of trustees to the Koza Ipek media group, I see this as an extremely serious interference with media freedom which should have no place in a democratic society. It is the latest in a string of unacceptable and undue restrictions of media freedom in Turkey, and it reinforces an extremely worrying pattern of judicial harassment against dissenting media and journalists in the country.
I urge the Turkish authorities to take all necessary measures to reverse the effects of these interferences and to prevent them in the future. I intend to include media freedom among the main issues I will discuss with the Turkish authorities during my forthcoming visit to Turkey in April.”