AGİT İnsani Boyut Uygulama Toplantısı (Varşova, 24 Eylül - 5 Ekim 2012) Temel Hak ve Özgürlükler I Oturumu

Tacan İldem 24.09.2012
STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR TACAN İLDEM,
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF TURKEY
2012 Human Dimension Implementation Meeting
Working Session 1: Fundamental freedoms I
Warsaw, 24 September 2012

Mr Moderator,

Turkey welcomes this opportunity to address this important topic as it attaches high importance to the freedom of expression and the right of persons to hold opinions and to receive information and ideas without interference by public authorities and regardless of frontiers.

Turkey appreciates and strongly supports the impressive role played by the Representative on Freedom of the Media and her able staff, in advocating and promoting full compliance by participating States with OSCE commitments in respect of freedom of expression and media and we call upon all participating States to make best use of the expertise and contribution of the Office of the Representative.

It has long been confirmed that human rights are universal, indivisible and interdependent. This interdependence is more obvious than others in the discussion of freedom of expression and incitement to racial or religious hatred, or violent extremism. The same is true also when it comes to protection of children from harmful content. For that reason, many OSCE participating States, including my country, are confronted with the strain of striking the right balance between legitimate security concerns such as those relating to terrorism, and freedom rights including the freedom of expression, both online and offline. In this vein, I welcome the Representative’s subscription to the views with respect to the States’ right to take necessary measures in their legitimate fight against terrorism and those who appraise terrorist activities.

In connection with those labeled as imprisoned journalists, I will suffice to say that those persons are behind bars not for their journalistic activities but for charges of spreading of terrorist propaganda and engaging in terrorist activities. Nevertheless, taking this opportunity, let me also briefly inform this august body of the recently enacted amendments to our legislation regarding freedom of expression in Turkey, by which suspension by court decisions of publications aiming at spreading terrorist propaganda or appraising terrorist acts will no more be resorted as a means of security measure.

Mr Moderator,

Turkey is determined to ensure full enjoyment of freedom of expression, including freedom of media, and will continue to make use of best practices across the OSCE area, which we believe will be exchanged during this meeting.

Thank you.