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    Prime Ministry scribes get their pencils back

    Milliyet
    24 Nisan 2009 - 00:00Son Güncelleme : 23 Nisan 2009 - 19:04

    ANKARA - An Ankara court ordered a stay of execution on the Prime Ministry’s decision to cancel the press accreditation of a daily Milliyet reporter. The court said he did not violate principles of his profession while covering the prime minister.

    The accreditations of six reporters who covered Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan were canceled in November on grounds that they did not report "in line with journalistic principles."

    Milliyet reporter Abdullah Karakuş applied to the court to annul the decision, arguing the decision was a kind of censorship.

    In its decision, the court said the cancellation was not in line with freedom of press and the laws. Such an implementation was also likely to detriment reporters’ sense of freedom when producing the news. The decision said Karakuş’s news did not harm the principles of journalism.

    Referring to the respective items of the European Convention on Human Rights, or ECHR, the court stated: "Making the journalist prove his value judgments and convictions is not possible. If the journalist is expected to prove his news based on phenomenon then his good will defense should be deemed sufficient."

    The court added: "If the journalist has enough reasons to believe that a certain type of information is correct then he shouldn’t be punished. Instead of proving the reality, the journalist should be expected to perform research to a reasonable extent." Meanwhile, Ankara representative of daily Milliyet Fikret Bila said yesterday that the court’s decision should be taken as a lesson and that the Prime Ministry should restore Karakuş’s press accreditation.

    The court decision required this. He said Karakuş’s news reports, which were shown as the reasons for the cancellation, were not fictitious. The court decision said the Prime Ministry’s adviser or spokesman could not cancel press cards arbitrarily.
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