WASHINGTON - Members of Turkey's largest journalism trade union rallied outside Ankara's Communications Directorate on Monday to protest the government's mass cancellation of state-issued press credentials.
According to the Journalist’s Union of Turkey, known by its Turkish acronym TGS, and international press advocacy groups, such as the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), up to 1,400 press cards have been canceled in recent months.
Most of the journalists targeted for cancellation, observers say, report for independent news outlets or publications critical of the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Although journalists are permitted to work without press cards, the passes are the only documents that allow reporters to access Parliament and other government buildings.
"As journalists, we don't need permission from anyone," Esra Koçak, Ankara-branch chairman of TGS, told independent Turkish news agency Bianet. "We want to protect people's right to receive information, which is our only motto."
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