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Turkish Journalists Protest News Agency

The Journalists Union of Turkey, or TGS, protested what it called the increasing pressure, threats and harassment, the changing of working hours and other anti-employee practices at the Anatolia News Agency in a written statement Monday.

 During the past week almost 70 people at Anatolia were forced to retire, TGS said in a press statement in front of the General Directorate of Anatolia News Agency in Ankara on Wednesday.

“Apart from forced retirements, only one day off per week was imposed. Irrelevant appointments, dismissals, several demands for written and oral defense statements and notes of warning have increased in the past weeks,” TGS Chairman Ercan İpekçi told news website Bianet.

On the other hand, Anatolia said the TGS and other union statements were defaming the agency and misleading the public, the Anatolia News Agency Executive Board said in a statement. Anatolia had a gap of 65 million Turkish Liras in its budget, and 85 percent of its spending went to staff salaries and expenses, the statement said, adding that retiring staff will receive all their rights. The infrastructure and technology of the agency were about to fall apart and a new system was needed, the statement said.

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