CHP member Ekşi resigns from Turkish Press Council
The Press Council announced that secularist Daily Cumhuriyet columnist Orhan Birgit had been appointed the new president of the council.
World Bulletin / News Desk
Former Hürriyet daily chief columnist and Turkey's Press Council President Oktay Ekşi announced his resignation from his posts at the Press Council after joining the ranks of the main secularist opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) last week.
“Oktay Ekşi has resigned from the post of president of the Press Council and withdrew his membership in its higher council in order to fully fulfill his political responsibilities and not cast a shadow over the independence and impartiality of the council,” a statement released by the Press Council read.
The journalist submitted his resignation to the Press Council at its meeting.
Calls for Ekşi to part ways with the Press Council first emerged last year when Ekşi, in one of his columns in the Hürriyet daily, accused the prime minister and several ministers of having a “mindset willing to sell one's own mother” -- a phrase in Turkish that is considered highly offensive and implies one is willing to sell one's own mother as a prostitute.
Although Ekşi later apologized for his offensive article and resigned from Hürriyet, he remained in his post at the Press Council.
Calls for his resignation from the Press Council re-emerged after he joined the CHP last week. Protestors claimed this action conflicted with his impartiality as a journalist.
CHP leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu also hinted that it would be better for Ekşi to part ways with the Press Council now that he was a CHP member.
The Press Council also announced that secularist Daily Cumhuriyet columnist Orhan Birgit had been appointed the new president of the council.