Turkey

2012


Alerts   |   Turkey

In Turkey, Odatv publisher conditionally released

Istanbul, December 28, 2012--Turkish authorities on Thursday released Soner Yalçın, owner and publisher of the ultranationalist-leftist news website Odatv, from prison for the duration of his trial, according to news reports. Yalçın, who has been jailed since February 2011 on anti-state charges, could be re-arrested and jailed if he is convicted.

December 28, 2012 4:14 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

For Turkey, world's leading jailer, a path forward

Journalists call for freedom of the press in a 2011 rally in Ankara. (AFP/Adem Altan)

Turkey has no business being the world's leading jailer of journalists. But the numbers don't lie. With 49 journalists imprisoned for their work, according to CPJ's annual worldwide prison census, released today, Turkey holds more individuals behind bars than Iran (45), China (32), or Eritrea (28). How did Turkey find itself in this situation? Unlike the other countries that top CPJ's imprisoned list, Turkey has a relatively open and vibrant media. It is an emerging democracy, a NATO member, and a candidate for European Union integration.

December 11, 2012 12:00 AM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey, jailer of journalists, hedges bets on democracy

Protesters mark the fifth anniversary of the killing of Turkish-Armenian editor Hrant Dink in Istanbul January 19, 2012. (Reuters/Osman Orsal)

More reporters are jailed in Turkey than in any other country in the world. According to CPJ's recent survey, at least 61 are imprisoned directly for their work, representing the second biggest media crackdown in the 27 years we have been documenting such records. (Only Turkey itself has rivaled the extent of this crackdown, when it jailed 78 journalists in 1996.) In the country hailed as the model moderate Islamic republic, how is this possible?

Blog   |   CPJ, Turkey

Questions about CPJ's Turkey report? Here, our answers.

Dozens of journalists for leftist Turkish newspaper Tutuklu Gazete have been jailed. The paper's headline reads, 'Resistance Against Censorship.' (Reuters)

Last week's release of CPJ's report on Turkey's press freedom crisis generated widespread domestic media coverage and sparked a robust public debate. The response from Turkish journalists and commentators was largely positive, but there were some negative reactions as well. Turkey's Justice Ministry has promised a detailed response this week. Here is a summary of the criticism we received during several days of intensive media interviews, along with our responses.

October 29, 2012 11:05 AM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Mission Journal: First of two CPJ delegations visits Turkey

A passer-by looks at Turkish newspapers at a kiosk in Istanbul. (AP/Thanassis Stavrakis)

This week I joined CPJ board Chairman Sandra Mims Rowe, Executive Director Joel Simon, and Turkish researcher Özgür Ögret in Istanbul to present CPJ's latest report, "Turkey's Press Freedom Crisis," and convey our main press freedom concerns, including the mass imprisonment of journalists.

Reports   |   Turkey

Turkey's Press Freedom Crisis

The Dark Days of Jailing Journalists and Criminalizing Dissent

Turkish authorities are engaging in widespread criminal prosecution and jailing of journalists, and are applying other forms of severe pressure to promote self-censorship in the press, a CPJ analysis shows. CPJ has found highly repressive laws, particularly in the penal code and anti-terror law; a criminal procedure code that greatly favors the state; and a harsh anti-press tone set at the highest levels of government. Turkey’s press freedom situation has reached a crisis point. A special report by the Committee to Protect Journalists


October 22, 2012 12:01 AM ET

Reports   |   Multimedia, Turkey

Turkey's Press Freedom Crisis

Podcast With CPJ's Nina Ognianova

CPJ’s Nina Ognianova describes the widespread criminal prosecution and jailing of journalists in Turkey. A vast and repressive legal structure, combined with a harshly adversarial tone set at the highest levels of government, have created a crisis, says Ognianova, lead author of a new CPJ special report. Listen to the podcast on the player above, or right click here to download. (2:22)

Read CPJ's special report, "Turkey's Press Freedom Crisis."

October 22, 2012 12:01 AM ET

Blog   |   Turkey

Q&A: Yavuz Baydar on Turkey's press freedom climate

Under Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's government, Turkey has been one of the world's top jailer of journalists. (AFP/Burhan Ozbilici)

For the past several months, CPJ staff has been researching pervasive press freedom problems in Turkey, including the criminal prosecution of journalists, the use of governmental pressure to engender self-censorship, and the presence of a repressive legal structure. This month, CPJ will release an in-depth report on Turkey's press freedom crisis. In advance of our report, we are publishing this illuminating interview with Yavuz Baydar, ombudsman for the Turkish newspaper Sabah and columnist for Today's Zaman. The interview was conducted via email.

Blog   |   Turkey

Q&A: Nedim Șener, a Turkish journalist under fire

Nedim Sener (AFP)

For the past several months, CPJ staff has been investigating pervasive press freedom problems in Turkey, including the widespread jailing of journalists. This month, CPJ will release an in-depth report on press conditions in Turkey. In advance of our report, we are publishing this interview with Nedim Șener, an investigative reporter who was jailed for more than a year in 2011-12. The interview was conducted via email and translated from the original Turkish.

Blog   |   Turkey

Bewildering Odatv trial continues in Istanbul

Journalists and activists call for press freedom in Ankara on March 19, 2011, after the arrest of 10 journalists as part of investigations into the alleged Ergenekon plot. (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

In Istanbul, the trial of several suspects in the case of Odatv, an ultranationalist website harshly critical of the government, continues to great consternation. When the case began in early 2011, a dozen journalists were charged, 10 of whom were incarcerated. The prosecution said Odatv staffers, along with prominent investigative reporters Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener, were involved in the alleged Ergenekon plot--a supposed large-scale conspiracy to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. 

Blog   |   Turkey

Erdoğan tells media not to cover Kurdish conflict

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan instructed the country's journalists not to cover soldiers' deaths or other news related to the conflict with Kurd separatists. (AP)

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey is known to lash out publicly at journalists of whose coverage he disapproves. He has called on media owners and editors to discipline reporters and columnists critical of his policies, particularly when it comes to the sensitive Kurdish issue. In more than a few cases, to avoid trouble, newsroom managers have listened and dismissed the staffers in question.

September 12, 2012 5:02 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Turkey

Isik Yurtçu and Turkey's stubborn lack of press freedom

 Isik Yurtçu

The Committee to Protect Journalists is saddened by the death of Isik Yurtçu, who died Saturday in Istanbul of cancer at the age of 67.

In July of 1997, a bus full of international and Turkish journalists pulled up to the plain iron gate of Sakarya Prison east of Istanbul. Cameras rolling, representatives of CPJ, the International Press Institute, Reporters Sans Frontieres and Turkey's Press Council and Union of Newspaper Editors pressed toward the startled guard who swung the gate open just a foot or two and peered out.

September 11, 2012 2:36 PM ET

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Blog   |   CPJ, Honduras, Russia, Turkey

CPJ testifies on global threats to freedom of expression

CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission in Washington on Wednesday, highlighting global attacks on press freedom and, in particular, assaults on the press in Honduras, Russia, and Turkey.

Alerts   |   Syria, Turkey

Syria detains journalists, releases others

Turkish journalist Adem Özköse, pictured Monday at the Istanbul office of his newspaper Milat, and freelance cameraman Hamit Coşkun were released Saturday from detention in Syria. (AP/Chris Torchia)

New York, May 14, 2012--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes Syria's release of several journalists and press freedom activists over the weekend, but condemns the continued detention of at least nine journalists--and likely several more--including two journalists arrested without charge in the past month.

Blog   |   CPJ, France, Italy, Romania, Russia, Turkey, UK, Ukraine

Defending the European Court of Human Rights

Judges hear a case in the European Court of Human Rights. More than 60,000 people sought the court's help in 2011. (AFP/Frederick Florin)

The European Court of Human Rights is a victim of its success. In 2011, more than 60,000 people sought its help after exhausting all judicial remedies before national courts. But now, some member states of the Strasbourg-based Council of Europe are pushing for reforms of the prestigious institution and are pointing at the number of cases to make their argument. Instead of enhancing the court's capacity to deal with the backlog of cases, their moves would clip the court's prerogatives and undermine a citizen's capacity to defend his most fundamental rights.

Alerts   |   Turkey

Investigation, threats against freed Turkish journalists

Journalists Nedim Şener and Ahmet Şık were threatened shortly after their release from prison. Here, colleagues protest the journalists' imprisonment, which lasted more than a year. (AP)

New York, March 22, 2012--Turkish authorities must immediately dismiss the new criminal investigation against journalist Ahmet Şık and should thoroughly investigate threats made against Şık and investigative journalist Nedim Şener, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Statements   |   Turkey

Turkey releases journalists, grave concerns remain

New York, March 12, 2012--The release of Turkish journalists Nedim Şener, Ahmet Şık, Muhammet Sait Çakır, and Coşkun Musluk, who are among dozens of journalists imprisoned in Turkey for alleged participation in a purported antistate plot known as Ergenekon, is a welcome development, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

March 12, 2012 2:21 PM ET

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Blog   |   Azerbaijan, Hungary, Turkey

The global impact of EU media policies

European Parliament President Martin Schulz shakes hands with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, right, during an EU leaders' summit in Brussels Thursday.(Reuters/Francois Lenoir)

The state of press freedom inside the European Union has a significant effect on press freedom outside the EU. That was the message that CPJ Senior European Adviser Jean-Paul Marthoz and I delivered this week when Brussels' leading think tank, the European Policy Center (EPC), hosted us for a policy dialogue marking the launch of our annual survey, Attacks on the Press.

Blog   |   France, Germany, Turkey

Attacks on Zaman test EU-Turkey ties

Last week, suspected supporters of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an armed group listed as a terrorist organization by the European Union and the United States, took their confrontation with the Turkish state to Western Europe, attacking the French and German offices of one of Turkey's most influential newspapers, Zaman.

February 22, 2012 11:20 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Bulgaria, Croatia, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Norway, Romania, Spain, Turkey, UK

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Europe, a Leader That Lags

Until his last days in office, Italy's Silvio Berlusconi pursued restrictive legislation known as the 'gag law.' (Reuters/Alessandro Garofalo)

In the EU, some countries appear more immune than others to scrutiny and reproach. Anti-terror laws, political and economic concerns, and a lack of common standards all challenge the credibility of the EU's diplomacy. By Jean-Paul Marthoz

Attacks on the Press   |   Turkey

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Turkey's Legal Problem

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, buoyed by a landslide election victory, has led an attack on press freedom. (AP/Boris Grdanoski)

With the aid of anachronistic legislation and a rigid judiciary, Turkish officials and politicians have curbed free expression by subjecting journalists to endless court proceedings and legal costs. The EU and the U.S. are no help. By Robert Mahoney

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Attacks on the Press   |   Iran, Iraq, Turkey

Attacks on the Press in 2011: Iran's Vast Diaspora

Journalists who have fled Iran to avoid prison face a tense and lengthy process toward resettlement, an uncertain financial and professional future, and most of all, fear that the Iranian government will catch up with them. By María Salazar-Ferro and Sheryl A. Mendez
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Blog   |   Denmark, France, Turkey

Minority media rights, terrorism laws at issue in Roj TV case

French satellite provider Eutelsat announced yesterday it is suspending Kurdish satellite station Roj TV after a Danish court last week levied a hefty fine against the satellite station for promoting terrorism. Eutelsat's decision comes despite Roj TV's appeal before the Danish High Court, which is pending. The case has implications for how media content is evaluated, the rights of minority media, and how terrorism laws are balanced with human rights.

January 20, 2012 2:33 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Turkey

Further investigation necessary in Hrant Dink murder

Friends of slain Turkish-Armenian journalist protest outside a courthouse in Istanbul today. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

New York, January 17, 2012--The conviction of several accomplices in the 2007 assassination of Hrant Dink, then-editor of the Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos, fails to address the issue of who commissioned the slaying, thus perpetuating impunity in the case, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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