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Dear colleagues,

The festive season is coming. It is a time we connect with those we love, but it can also be a time where we can feel alone. While many of us will spend the New Year with our families and loved ones, 60 journalists in Turkey will spend it alone in the prison.

They were denied the opportunity to spend the New Year with their families and loved ones because they were put behind bars for telling the truth. In fact, their professional rights as journalists were violated. They cannot report freely without the fear of imprisonment; they were punished for telling the truth and serving the public interest.

But we remain positive that with your support to our campaign ‘‘Turkey: Set Journalists Free’’, 2014 will be a better year for journalists and press freedom in Turkey.

To give these journalists a hopeful year to look forward to, we are making an appeal for your support to our online petition.

Please help us reach 10.000 signatures before 2014 by signing the petition now.

You can do so by clicking the ''sign button'' below. Please spread the word and ask your families and friends to sign the petition.

We wish you a wonderful year in 2014!
In solidarity,

Mogens Blicher Bjerregård
President, European Federation of Journalists

New Year wishes from families and colleagues

Aktas Erdoğan, son of journalist Füsun Erdoğan (detained since 10 September 2006)
‘‘As friends and family members of Füsun ErdoÄŸan, I believe that 2014 will be the year of justice not only for my mother but also for all other imprisoned journalists in Turkey.  We continue to keep our hope high that we will win our legal battle against the unjust verdict of the Turkish legal system.  We hope to reverse the verdict and end the punishment of a life sentence given to my mother based on police conspiracy, fake evidences and an unfair trial.  In 2014, I wish for freedom to Füsun ErdoÄŸan and all other journalists who have been treated unjustly.’’

(Picture credit: Aktas ErdoÄŸan)
Mustafa Balbay, journalist, released on 10 December

‘‘We now hope that journalists who are still being kept inside [the prison] will be able to experience the same happiness and joy of uniting with their families and friends. Our hearts are now with them.’’
Ricardo Gutiérrez, EFJ General Secretary

“For the second year in a row, Turkey has jailed more journalists than any other countries in the world. But the EFJ remains, more than ever, committed to fight against repressive media laws including the misuse of anti-terror laws, in Turkey. Journalists should not be put behind bars for doing their jobs. We will not give up until they are free because it is our duty to defend their rights.”
Mehmet Koksal, Turkish-Belgian journalist and coordinator for Set Journalists Free Campaign

‘‘Journalist and women's rights advocate Gloria Steinem once said, ‘The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off’. Colleagues, up until the end of 2013, you were only confronted by the latter – sacrificing your freedom to tell the truth. 2014 will be the time to set you free finally!’’

Colleagues, we wish for your freedom in 2014!

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is the largest journalists' organisation in Europe representing more than 320,000 journalists in 37 countries. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn or subscribe to our fortnightly newsletter EFJ FOCUS for updated news.
Tel.: + 32 (0)2 235 22 02
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