February 25, 2021 –Brussels, Belgium— The Ski Club of International Journalists (SCIJ) and its 30 member nations are united in voicing their concern about the actions against two active journalists, Melis Alphan and Yazgulu Aldogan, also members of the Turkish chapter of SCIJ.
In the case of Melis Alphan, she is accused by the Turkish State and awaiting prosecution for spreading terrorist propaganda with a photograph of Newroz celebrations in 2015 that she is alleged to have shared on social media. It is alleged that the photograph contained the flag of what the State now deems to be a terrorist organization. Alphan has denied the charges, claiming the celebrations were legal at the time and widely broadcast on Turkish television, including by the state-owned channel. She could face up to seven years and six months in prison if convicted by the Turkish court.
In the second case of concern, Yazgulu Aldogan the founding member of SCIJ Turkey was sentenced to 14 months prison and fined 5,000 Turkish lira for insulting Resat Petek, a deputy in the Turkish parliament, for writing as ‘‘Feto (Fethullahist Terror Organization or Gulen Movement) Sympathiser’’ in one of her articles. She was also given a further 14-month imprisonment for a tweet that allegedly ‘‘dragged people to grudge and hatred’’. She has appealed both rulings.
SCIJ, like many nations, believes that the fundamental values of democracy, human rights and the ability freely to practice journalism must be respected at all times. Further, all members of SCIJ are expected to
practice their profession as journalists with the highest ethical standards and without the fear of intervention or retaliation.
SCIJ is an International not-for-profit organization, founded in 1955, to establish contact between journalists and correspondents from Eastern and Western bloc nations and promote détente in a neutral and hospitable Alpine skiing setting. The association is composed of 1,000 journalists from 30 nations. Independently of all other existing media associations, SCIJ will sustain and foster exchanges that are relevant to professional journalists throughout the year. We encourage each of our members to establish contacts, build friendships and sustain solidarity between professional journalists from around the world, irrespective of their nationality, race, religion, gender, political and philosophical beliefs, or media platform.
SCIJ and its member nations stand in solidarity in encouraging Turkish authorities to immediately reconsider the actions that are being levied against our colleagues, associates, fellow members and friends Melis Alphan and Yazgulu Aldogan.
|SCIJ Member Nations|
|SCIJ Andorra||SCIJ Croatia||SCIJ Germany||SCIJ Israël||SCIJ Russia||SCIJ Sweden|
|SCIJ Argentina||SCIJ Czech Republic||SCIJ Hungary||SCIJ Italy (GIS)||SCIJ Serbia||SCIJ Switzerland|
|SCIJ Belgium||SCIJ Denmark||SCIJ Kazakhstan||SCIJ Netherlands||SCIJ Slovakia||SCIJ Turkey|
|SCIJ Bulgaria||SCIJ Finland||SCIJ Iceland||SCIJ Norway||SCIJ Slovenia||SCIJ United Kingdom|
|SCIJ Canada||SCIJ France||SCIJ Ireland||SCIJ Romania||SCIJ Spain||SCIJ United States|