UCJ expresses solidarity with Turkish Cypriot journalists
Nicosia, Oct 6 (CNA) -- The Union of Cyprus Journalists (UCJ) has expressed solidarity with two Turkish Cypriot journalists of the Turkish Cypriot daily ''Afrika'' whose lives had been threatened by members of the extremist ''Grey Wolves'' organisation in Cyprus' Turkish-occupied territory.
Political parties and other institutions, mayors, journalists and other citizens attended a rally here yesterday, denouncing threats against Sener Levent and Ali Osman.
A UCJ petition read out by the Union's Vice President Antonis Markides called on the UN, the EU and the International Federation of Journalists to immediately take action with a view to protect the lives of the two Turkish Cypriots and act urgently towards Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the Turkish Government and Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayiip Erdogan demanding press freedom in the occupied areas and Turkish Cypriot community's freedom of expression.
The UN, the EU and the IFJ are also urged to act in order to promote a right solution to the Cyprus problem, so that ''Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots can live together peacefully in a free common homeland.''
The petition denounced the Grey Wolves' fascist methods in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkish troops since 1974, "in order to muzzle the freedom of expression.''
It also denounced Denktash, its illegal regime and Turkey ''for offering cover or harbouring these fascist behaviours.''
''We express our abhorrence because in an era where human rights are considered a self-evident good for all of the world, freedom of speech is under attack, accompanied by threats for the journalists' physical extermination,'' the petition added.
Sener Levent's brother Osman and an Africa's journalist conveyed to the Greek Cypriot demonstrators the thanks of Africa's journalists.
Meanwhile Francis Wurtz, President of the European United Left/Nordic Greek Left Group in the European Parliament, has strongly condemned death threats against Leven and Osman, noting ''these death threats are entirely unacceptable and represent a severe infringement of the freedom of the press in the occupied territory.''
Wurtz called on the EU to intervene forcefully with the Turkish authorities to remind them of their responsibilities and that failure to put a stop to such behaviour will severely impact all relations between Turkey and the EU in the future.