Journalist signing her work with names of imprisoned journalists: Condemning is not enough

ISTANBUL - Serpil Ünal, a reporter for the Struggle Union Newspaper, which publishes the news she made for the purpose of solidarity with the signatures of the imprisoned journalists, criticized that the condemnations to the arrests were insufficient.
As part of the investigation was carried out by the Diyarbakır Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, 22 people, including 20 journalists, were detained during the house raids carried out by the police on June 8. Journalists, who were referred to court on June 16 after an 8-day detention period for their journalistic activities, were arrested on charges of "membership in a terrorist organisation" and "Propagandising a terrorist organisation".
Many national and international journalists, intellectuals, politicians and institutions condemned the arrest of journalists. Hundreds of journalists continue to condemn the arrest of journalists and sign their news stories with the names of the imprisoned journalists and demand the release of the journalists with their statements. Making a difference in solidarity, Struggle Union Newspaper publishes its news stories with the signatures of the imprisoned journalists. The newspaper, which first published news with the signature of JINNEWS Director Safiye Alagaş, will continue to publish news with the signatures of other imprisoned journalists in order to defend the right to recieve news.
Serpil Ünal, reporter of the Struggle Union Newspaper, made evaluations about the arrests and the importance of solidarity with journalists.
Ünal stated that since the day she started working as a journalist, she has always stood by the press workers and tried to be their voice. Stating that the government is trying to supress journalism as a profession, Ünal said: "Silencing journalists is actually silencing the society. The society has now taken a stance against the crises created by the government in all areas, including the social, political and economic areas of the country, and objections have been voiced loudly. Currently, there is an economic and political collapse in the country. There is an opposition against it. People are taking to the streets and say that they can't make a living. However, there is a pressure on the people. The government considers people saying they are hungry a crime. We learn about these things from the journalists."
Stating that journalists are the ones to reveal the issues experienced by the people, Ünal said: “Naturally, they try to silence the journalists first. Besides, there is a serious war policy towards the Kurdish people. Therefore, the shortest way to silence the Kurdish people's voice is to turn down the voice of Kurdish journalists. And it is done by arresting these journalists and confiscating their tools they use to do their jobs. By arresting journalists, the government also attacks the public's right to receive information."
Stating that they paid a visit of solidarity to the Dicle Fırat Journalists Association (DFG) in Diyarbakır after the arrest of 16 journalists, Ünal said: "What can we do for our journalist colleaques? We were having a discussion about it. How can we do this? We can write their stories. But most importantly, we must show that they are still reporting. We have to show that arresting them is not enough to silence them. That's why I decided to sign my stories with their names. First, as a woman, I wanted to sign my report with the name of a woman from JINNEWS. I signed that report on behalf of Safiye Alagaş. From now on I will publish my stories with the name of the imprisoned journalists every day until they are released."
Criticizing that the condemnations for the arrest of journalists was late and insufficient, Ünal said: "We thought that we should go out to the streets and demand the release of our friends even if we are a few people. But we should have been faster. We were a bit too late."
Stating that the repression that started with Kurdish journalists covered a wide range of people, Ünal said: "Likewise, attacks against peoples first start from Kurdistan and then come to Turkey. A clear indication of this is that trustees that were appointed to the municipalities, and there was not a lot of condemnations from the west of Turkey. There was an attack on MPs to be stripped of their status as members of parliament. While there were demonstrations in Kurdistan, Turkey remained slient. Same thing is happening now. After our colleaques were arrested, we were faced with a law called the 'disinformation law'. Condemnations are not enough, we need to step thing up more.”

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