1. The European Union is closely following the issue of many journalists and correspondents from Turkey and EU Member States who are still waiting for their accreditation requests to be processed by the Turkish authorities. In this context, we are concerned about recent decisions by the Turkish authorities not to renew the accreditation for three German journalists (Istanbul Bureau Chief of public broadcaster ZDF, Jörg Brase, Tagesspiegel correspondent Thomas Seibert, Halil Gülbeyaz of public broadcaster NDR).
2. No reason was given as for why they were denied the opportunity to continue their journalistic activity on Turkish soil. In the meantime, the Turkish authorities have agreed to renew the accreditation of Mr Brase, which we welcome.
3. The right to freedom of expression, to receive and impart information, ideas and opinions without interference is guaranteed by Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, it constitutes one of the fundamental principles upon which a democratic society is based and a precondition to the exercise of other freedoms enshrined in the Convention. Revocations of press accreditations by a signatory State would have a chilling effect on media freedom. We therefore call on the Turkish authorities to extend the press accreditations as soon as possible to all affected journalists, including several from EU Member States.
4. A declaration of the Committee of Ministers on the protection of journalism and safety of journalists and other media actors was adopted on 30 April 2014. We call on Turkey to adequately address the issues underlying the 73 open alerts on the Platform for the Protection of Journalism and Safety of Journalists, including the most recent which concerns revoking press accreditations of foreign correspondents.