Ankara presses charges against Cypriot journalists
Two Turkish Cypriot journalists - the publisher of the daily Afrika, Şener Levent, and his colleague Ali Osman - have been charged in Turkey with criticising Ankara's military operations in Syria. They had called the intervention in Afrin a 'second Turkish invasion' - after the first invasion in Cyprus in 1974. Greek Cypriot media are incensed.
The voice of all Cypriots
Levent and Osman stand for the kind of courageous journalism that must be defended, writes the daily Politis, in which Şener Levent publishes a weekly column:
“Şener's voice supports neither Greek nor Turkish Cypriots. It's a unique and honest Cypriot voice that says what it believes to be true. A voice that serves Cyprus and all its inhabitants. And there is another reason why we support Levent and Osman. In Turkey, where they are to stand trial, there seems to be no respect for the freedom of speech. Hundreds of journalists who dared to comment on - and yes, to criticise - the Erdoğan regime are behind bars. Thousands of dissidents who have been branded - and scorned as - foreign agents and traitors are held in Turkish prisions.”
Nicosia must pull out all the stops
The Cypriot government asked the OSCE to intervene on Thursday. That's not enough, writes Phileleftheros:
“The government must pull out all the stops in the EU to mobilise political leaders, and even try to enlist Putin's help to put pressure on this mad dictator. ... Ankara's lawsuit against Levent and Osman must be treated just as if it were a lawsuit against citizens in the free areas [in the south of Cyprus]. It's not enough for us to turn to the OSCE for help - an organisation that is trying to convince us that it's better if journalists don't use the term 'occupied areas' but write 'North Cyprus' instead.”