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Parliamentary questions
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31 July 2018
Question for written answer E-004215-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Costas Mavrides (S&D)

 Subject:  Violation of freedom of expression by the occupying regime in Cyprus
 Answer in writing 

According to the issue of ‘Fileleftheros’ newspaper of 31/7/2018, the Turkish government is persecuting and putting on trial the Turkish Cypriot journalists, Şener Levent and Ali Osman, of the newspaper ‘Afrika’. Levent, a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus living in the occupied areas, is editor-in-chief of this newspaper. Despite the persecution and threats of the occupying regime and Ankara, most recently an attempt to have him lynched on 22 January 2018, he has continued to issue it, strongly criticising the illegal Turkish occupation of Cyprus. The charges concern the front page of the newspaper ‘Afrika’, which described the Turkish military intervention of Afrin in Syria as ‘Turkey’s second invasion move’ and considered the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974 to have been Turkey’s ‘first invasion’, as well as an article by Levent in which he inveighed against the Turkish government.

It should be noted that this year Levent, as a citizen of the Republic of Cyprus, was awarded the European Citizen's Prize by the European Parliament.

Will the Commission say:

How will it act to protect the two journalists, especially given that the Turkish Cypriot community in the occupied territories receives special EU funding?

Since the government of Cyprus has failed to take any action, does consider appropriate its attitude towards such an unprecedented violation of the fundamental right of freedom of expression of a citizen of the European Union?

Original language of question: EL 
Last updated: 22 August 2018Legal notice