“Freedom of the press in the TRNC was discussed “
European University of Lefke Faculty of Communication Sciences organized a panel on “Press and Freedoms” within the scope of the “Communication Days” event series. Journalists Hasan Hastürer, Hasan Erçakıca, Serhat İncirli and Lawyer Şahap Tokatlı attended the panel held online as part of the World Press Freedom Day. In the event, which attracted great attention, the panelists made important statements and evaluated whether the press in Northern Cyprus is free or not within the framework of their own experiences and TRNC laws.
Referring to the regulations within the scope of press, expression and individual rights and freedoms in the TRNC laws, Lawyer Şahap Tokatlı stated that the rights and freedoms of people, freedom of thought and expression are guaranteed by the constitution in the TRNC. Hunting. Tokatlı, in the news in the press, emphasized that the rights and freedoms of the person should not be offended or false news should be made, and that in case of contradiction to these, an insult case called zem and kadih was opened. Hunting. Şahap Tokatlı said, “Unlike Turkey or other parts of the world, our regulation on the press is mostly addressed in the unjust act law and the personal rights and freedoms in our constitution and the regulations under the High Council of Broadcasting.”
Following the legal statements of lawyer Şahap Tokatlı, journalist panelists said, “Are you free while performing your journalism duty in the TRNC?” They shared their opinions and experiences within the framework of the question.
Hasan Hastürer: “The most dangerous is self-control – self-censorship”
Stating that the most dangerous in terms of freedoms is auto-control, Hasan Hastürer said, “We live in a geography where an instruction and a culture of obedience are effective and accepted as right.
Hastürer stated that the Turkish Cypriot community has not been able to complete a real demilitarization and consequently has a structure that follows the democratization process from far behind, adding that “freedoms are an interactive structure, when they exist in dynamism, it has a value, it has a functionality”.
Hasan Erçakıca: “The more sacrificing you are, the more free you are”
Journalist Hasan Erçakıca; “The more you think of sacrifice, the more you think of paying, the more free you are,” he started his words. “Freedom of the press, political freedoms and other freedoms have developed in this framework,” said Erçakıca, emphasizing that the legal framework of freedoms was drawn very broadly and stated that there are structural, economic and existential problems in the TRNC.
Saying that “freedom of the press is not a product of democracy, democracy is a product of the press,” Erçakıca said, “There is no community that the press becomes democracy without development … Without the press, there is no political action, no democratic political action. The more free the front of the press can be, the more free people are. The press will be free the more people own it, ”he continued.
Serhat İncirli: “We are trying to do journalism within anti-democratic practices”
The journalist Serhat İncirli, who started his speech by referring to the words of the French writer and philosopher Voltaire, “I may disagree with what you say, but I will fight to the death to say this” and “If you want to know who is directing you, see who you cannot criticize”, journalist Serhat İncirli said that journalism in Northern Cyprus 1958 – 1974, 1974 – Separating into 3 periods, 2000 and after 2000, he touched on the ‘uncritical’ of each period.
In his speech, İncirli also touched on the impact of the society being a small society on journalistic activities, “We are such a small society that we have to use not upsetting the people we love or hurt the people we know – as Hasan Hastürer said – as a kind of self-censorship or self-control when we say or write things. we stay ”he said.
The panel ended with answering the questions from the participants.