Emre Uslu, an exiled Turkish journalist living in in the United States, tweeted on Sunday that he was sworn at and threatened with death in front of his house.
“One hour ago they came to my house in a red hatchback car, swore at me, threatened me with death and ran away. Why are you running away if you are so brave?” asked Uslu.
Following statements made by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan targeting Gülen movement sympathizers living abroad, the pro-government media last year had published a story about critical journalist and academic Uslu and shared secretly taken photos of him in Virginia.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency on May 5, 2017 tried to pose questions to Uslu, announcing that “fugitive Uslu was caught in front of his house in Virginia.”
In August 2016, two pro-government journalists, Ersoy Dede and Hikmet Genç, talked about how to get rid of critical journalists living in exile during a program on Kanal 24.
Dede said: “One morning we will wake up and see some scum being caught at Sabiha Gökçen Airport. The media will cover the story like this: “Tuncay Opçin, Emre Uslu and Ekrem Dumanlı …”
The figures Dede mentioned are critical journalists who had to flee Turkey due to the government crackdown on opponents.
“These journalists will not sleep in peace,” he said.
Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) has showed that 283 journalists and media workers are now in jails as of August 18, 2017, most in pre-trial detention languishing in notorious Turkish prisons without even a conviction. Of those in Turkish prisons, 258 are arrested pending trial, only 25 journalists remain convicted and serving time in Turkish prisons. An outstanding detention warrants remain for 135 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey.
Detaining tens of thousands of people over alleged links to the movement, the government also closed down more than 180 media outlets after the controversial coup attempt. Turkey’s Contemporary Journalists’ Association (ÇGD) recently announced that more than 900 press cards were cancelled. (SCF with turkishminute.com)