Özgür Öğret/CPJ Turkey Representative

Özgür Öğret is a Turkish freelance journalist and CPJ’s Turkey representative. He was lead researcher for the 2012 CPJ special report, "Turkey's Press Freedom Crisis."

Journalist Evrim Kepenek is seen while covering COVID-19 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Evrim Kepenek)

For Turkish journalists, fear of contracting COVID-19 competes with fear of arrest

Journalist Evrim Kepenek works in Istanbul as the women and LGBTI+ news editor for the independent news website Bianet. Like most people, she works from home these days, but she is also a street reporter who recently observed twin fears among the Turkish public: getting infected with COVID-19 and getting arrested for talking about it.

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Newspapers are seen in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 19, 2018. CPJ recently joined other press freedom groups in calling on Turkey's ad regulator to lift its ban on the leftist daily Evrensel. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

CPJ joins calls on Turkey to lift ad ban on Evrensel daily

CPJ joined the International Press Institute, Reporters Without Borders, the Journalists Union of Turkey, the European Federation of Journalists, and 20 other Turkish and international groups in a joint letter today calling for Turkey’s Press Ad Agency, the state regulator of government advertisements in print media, to lift its ban on advertising in critical leftist…

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A view of Ankara in April 2019. Turkish journalist Yavuz Selim, who was attacked in the city last year, says he continues to receive threats. (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

‘The goal is to make us stop writing’: Turkish journalists on attacks and threats

Eight months after he was attacked outside his Ankara home with baseball bats, Yavuz Selim Demirağ still has trouble sleeping. “The worry of suffering another attack at any minute messed with my psychology. Sometimes I feel like I am being followed,” the Turkish journalist said. “In the end, the threat continues. Because the attackers are…

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A newsstand is seen in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 19, 2018. CPJ and other press freedom groups recently called on Turkey's ad regulator to lift a ban on advertising in two leftist dailies. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

CPJ joins call for Turkish authorities to lift advertising ban on leftist dailies

CPJ joined representatives from the International Press Institute, Reporters Without Borders, the Journalists Union of Turkey, and the European Federation of Journalists yesterday in a joint statement calling for Turkey’s Press Ad Agency, the state regulator of government ads in print media, to lift its ban on advertising in critical leftist dailies Evrensel and BirGün.

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Semiha Şahin, an editor at ETHA, is in legal limbo after Turkish authorities failed to fully implement the terms of her house arrest. (ETHA)

‘I could be jailed at any moment’: Turkish editor in limbo over terms of prison release

If somebody is legally under house arrest but in practice not, are they free? Semiha Şahin, an editor at the socialist Etkin News Agency (ETHA), confronts this question—and the legal ambiguity that it poses—every day. A Turkish court released the journalist under house arrest in June, pending the outcome of her trial, but authorities have…

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks during a parliamentary group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara on June 25, 2019. Two journalists are to stand trial, in separate cases, on charges of insulting the president. (AFP/Adem Altan)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 23, 2019

‘Insult’ trial for Free Journalists Initiative spokesperson Hakkı Boltan, a spokesperson for the Free Journalists Initiative (ÖGİ), is due to stand trial in Diyarbakır on charges of “insulting the president” and “insulting a public servant because of their duty,” the news website Gazete Karınca reported. The charges are related to Boltan’s public statements about President…

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People watch a live broadcast of a televised debate between Istanbul's mayoral candidates at a tea house in Diyarbakir on June 16, 2019. (AFP/Ilyas Akengin)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 16, 2019

Journalist turns himself in, released the same day Yavuz Selim Demirağ, a columnist for the nationalist daily Yeni Çağ who was attacked by a group of men who beat him with baseball bats in May, was released from prison under judicial control around midnight the day he turned himself in, Deutsche Welle reported on June…

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People read papers by the Bosporus in Istanbul in April 2019. A journalist this week started a prison sentence for insulting Turkey's president in a speech. (AP/Emrah Gurel)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 9, 2019

Journalist in jail for insulting presidentOn June 13, Yavuz Selim Demirağ, a columnist for the nationalist daily Yeni Çağ, started an 11-month and 20-day prison sentence for “insulting the president,” according to his column published the same day. The column featured an update from the newspaper that said that the journalist had turned himself and…

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Supporters of the HDP party gather for an election rally in Batman, on March 12. On June 1, a court in the Turkish city handed down a prison sentence for a journalist who died in October. (AFP/Ilyas Akengin)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 2, 2019

German journalist accused of insulting president A prosecutor in Ankara has started an investigation into German journalist Süheyla Kaplan who is accused of “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and terrorism propaganda, Deutsche Welle reported. Evidence cited against the journalist includes a political cartoon of the Turkey’s president that she shared on Twitter, social media post…

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Kadri Gürsel, left, is handcuffed by police outside an Istanbul prison on May 29. Gürsel, a former columnist for Cumhuriyet, and Turkey chair of the International Press Institute, was freed later that day. (AP/DHA)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 26, 2019

More journalists beaten in Turkey On May 25, three men beat Selahattin Önkibar, a columnist for the ultranationalist opposition news website Odatv, near his house in Ankara, the leftist daily Evrensel reported. Önkibar is the fifth journalist to be attacked in Turkey this month, in apparent retaliation for their work, CPJ has found.

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