Journalism in Turkey is at “death’s door” but there is still hope it can emerge from a comatose state, one of the country s top journalists said after being released from jail.
Kadri Gursel, who has worked as a journalist and columnist for three decades, walked free from prison last month after 330 days behind bars.
Gursel was arrested last year as part of a hugely controversial case against the Cumhuriyet daily that saw a dozen staff arrested on charges of links to terror groups.
Supporters slammed the charges as an absurdity and proof of the narrowing freedom of expression in the country under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has dominated the country as premier and then head of state for one-and-a-half decades.
Gursel told AFP in an interview at his Istanbul house he believed journalism in Turkey was “at death s door” and in a “heartbreaking state” but not entirely finished.
“I have one single objection to those who say journalism is dead in Turkey — it is in a coma. By saying that I mean that it could recover from the coma,” he said.
“There are a lot of journalists in Turkey… It will again be the journalists who will help journalism recover and emerge from this coma.
“Freedoms continue to exist because of those who defend them against those who are out to destroy them.”