Pew exhibition tells story of persecuted Turkish journalists

It was a powerful and moving exhibition to see the pews of Huddersfield Parish Church filled with photos and information telling the story of 272 Turkish journalists who have been jailed or persecuted by the Turkish Government following the attempted coup there in July 2016.

Men and women of all ages and almost all of them are or wanted on terrorism and treason charges and are either in exile or imprisoned awaiting trial.

The two day pew exhibition was organised by the Kirklees branch of the international human rights organization Amnesty International to show solidarity with the Turkish journalists and was called “Free the Turkish Journalists” .

It invited visitors to write postcards of support to any of those featured there.

Paul Cooney, who chairs the Kirklees group said: “Our exhibition attempts to convey the impact of all these journalists being removed from society and stopping their role of telling truth to power and the people they are meant to serve. We want people to come into the church to see the photographs and help by writing a short message of support to a detained journalist on one of our post cards, and we will send it to them on your behalf.”

Turkey is the biggest jailer of journalists in the world. The most recent figures documented by the Stockholm Center for Freedom (SCF) showed that 281 journalists and media workers were in jail as of September 26, 2017, most in pre-trial detention. Of those, 256 are under arrest pending trial and 25 journalists have been convicted and are serving their sentences. Detention warrants are outstanding for 135 journalists who live in exile or remain at large in Turkey. Turkey’s Contemporary Journalists’ Association (ÇGD) recently announced that more than 900 press cards have been cancelled.

Any church or cathedral interested in having this exhibition, contact Paul Cooney at paulcooney7@ntlworld.com