An international journalists' watchdog on Thursday condemned an official ban on 13 mostly pro-Kurdish publications in Turkey's mainly Kurdish-populated southeast.
The secretary-general of Reporters sans Frontieres, Robert Menard, appealed in a letter to Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit to take the necessary steps to lift the "completely arbitrary bans," the Paris-based group said in a statement.
"These measures are contradictory to Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which Turkey has endorsed," it said.
Article 10 "protects the freedom of opinion and the freedom of receiving and communicating information or ideas without any interference from public authorities."
Among the 13 publications is 2000'de Yeni Gundem (A New Agenda in 2000), a pro-Kurdish newspaper whose editor-in-chief Ragip Zarakoglu informed AFP earlier of the ban.
The paper, first published on May 27, was a successor to another previously banned pro-Kurdish publication, Ozgur Bakis.
The latest ban, imposed by the governor of Diyarbakir, the southeast's regional capital, covers the eastern province of Van as well as the southeastern provinces of Diyarbakir, Siirt, Sirnak and Hakkari, which are under emergency rule -- ANKARA (AFP)
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