The Erased font


Nadiye Gürbüz
  • CountryTurkey

If you are Kurdish, a socialist, or an opposition journalist in Turkey, there is a high chance of being arrested. Since I started working for socialist media in 1997 I have been detained twice and arrested numerous times. The newspapers and news agencies I worked at were sometimes raided and all kinds of equipment was confiscated to try to make our work impossible.

On 30 April 2023, armed police raided my house around six in the morning. I was told that there was an arrest warrant against me, but no information on what charges. The house was searched for hours and all kinds of belongings were taken. I could not contact relatives or my lawyer. I was eventually taken away in handcuffs to the Istanbul police's anti-terror department.

Only after 24 hours I was allowed to contact my lawyer, but he too was not given any information because the investigation file had been declared secret. I was detained for four days. At the arraignment on 3 May, it emerged that the allegation was that some reports by Etkin News Agency (ETHA), the outlet I work for, had published 'propaganda for terrorist organisations'. There was no evidence that I wrote these articles, but nevertheless I was referred to the court to do further investigation, and then transferred to Marmara prison.

I was released on 12 October 2023 without ever having a trial. The release did not mean the charges were dropped. I had to report myself to the police station once a week and was not allowed to travel abroad. After the release I was given the charge sheet which said that I have links with the Central Committee of a terrorist organisation. They based this on a phone call in which someone reading the newspaper said he could not see properly and that the fonts should be bigger. The prosecutor then interestingly concludes that I am "a member of a terrorist organisation".

Journalism has the crucial role of telling the truth. I believe it is essential to expose exploitation within the capitalist system, and other forms of social injustice. The fight against censorship is vital to ensure that information remains accessible worldwide and to safeguard the freedom of the press. In Turkey, this struggle has become more and more intense after the attempted coup in 2016, which saw many media institutions shut down or deprived of their broadcasting facilities.

"This highlights how essential it is to draw international attention to press freedom and the impact of censorship in authoritarian regimes, so that the truth can continue to find its way to the public through the media."

—Nadiye Gürbüz

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