CPJ Blog

Press Freedom News and Views

Özgür Öğret

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."

2018


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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of December 16, 2018

December 20, 2018 1:21 PM ET

Journalist jailed over unpaid fines Hakan Gülseven, a journalist who used to work for the pro-opposition (CHP) daily Yurt, was imprisoned on December 20 after failing to pay 31,500 Turkish lira (US$5,974) in three unpaid fines over charges of insult, the news website Artı Gerçek reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of December 6, 2018

December 13, 2018 1:22 PM ET

Anti-state charges for 5 journalists Five journalists from the opposition daily Sözcü were indicted for "willingly and knowingly helping a [terrorist] organization without being in its hierarchical structure," BBC Turkey reported on December 10. Chief editor Metin Yılmaz, online chief editor Mustafa Çetin, online news coordinator Yücel Arı, and...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of December 2

December 6, 2018 12:37 PM ET

Journalists in court A Diyarbakır Court on December 5 ordered Rojhat Doğru, a journalist formerly with the northern Iraq outlet Gali Kurdistan TV, to be detained pending investigation, the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya Agency reported. According to the report, Doğru was taken into custody in Istanbul on the accusation of "being...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week beginning November 25, 2018

November 29, 2018 1:27 PM ET

Court upholds Özgür Gündem sentences A local appeals court in Istanbul on November 29 upheld the earlier prison sentences handed to five of the participants of a solidarity campaign with the daily Özgür Gündem, the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya Agency reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of November 8, 2018

November 15, 2018 12:40 PM ET

Court sentences former Zaman journalist A court in Uşak on November 14 convicted Ali Ünal, a former columnist for the shuttered daily Zaman, of "founding and leading an armed terrorist organization" and sentenced him to 19 years and six months in prison, the news website Diken reported. The court...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of November 1, 2018

November 8, 2018 12:47 PM ET

Journalists in court An Istanbul court on November 5 convicted Yasir Kaya, a sports journalist formerly with Fenerbahçe TV or FBTV, of "being a member of a [terrorist] organization" and sentenced him to six years and three months in prison, according to reports. Kaya remained free pending appeal, according...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 26, 2018

November 1, 2018 12:37 PM ET

Journalist freed pending trial An Istanbul court on October 31, ordered Ali Sönmez Kayar, a reporter for the socialist Etkin News Agency (ETHA), to be freed pending trial, the independent news website Bianet reported. Kayar, who is charged with "being a member of a [terrorist] organization," was released under...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 18

October 25, 2018 1:37 PM ET

Court sentences journalists over Özgür Gündem campaignAn Istanbul court on October 24 sentenced three journalists to jail for "insulting the president" in the now shuttered pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem, the daily Evrensel reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 11

October 18, 2018 12:42 PM ET

Journalists in court An Istanbul court on October 16 asked Interpol to issue a "red notice" warrant for the exiled journalists Can Dündar and İlhan Tanır, according to reports. Dündar and Tanır were defendants in the trial against the opposition daily Cumhuriyet, until their cases were separated from the...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 4, 2018

October 11, 2018 1:19 PM ET

Journalist sentenced to over 7 years in jail A court in the eastern Muş city on October 10 sentenced Seda Taşkın, a reporter for the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency (MA), to a total of seven years and six months in prison, her employer reported. Taşkın attended the hearing via...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 27, 2018

October 4, 2018 3:34 PM ET

Erdoğan in Germany A Turkish man wearing a "freedom for journalists" T-shirt was thrown out of a press conference between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on September 28, video from Euronews and Özgürüz showed. The man was identified as Adil Yiğit, chief editor...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 20, 2018

September 27, 2018 1:17 PM ET

Journalists jailed Police on September 24 briefly detained and questioned Ergün Demir, chief editor of Akatos Haber, a local news website in northwestern Kocaeli province, the leftist daily Birgün reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 14, 2018

September 20, 2018 12:13 PM ET

Court finds journalists guilty of making propaganda for terrorists A court on September 19 found the directors of the shuttered socialist television channel Hayatın Sesi TV guilty of making propaganda for terrorist organisations, the daily Evrensel reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 10, 2018

September 13, 2018 2:07 PM ET

Turkey detains Austrian writer Austrian citizen Max Zirngast, a contributor to several magazines and a student of political science, according to the OSCE, was detained by anti-terrorism police in Ankara, Turkey's capital, on September 11, Deutsche Welle reported. Deutsche Welle quoted a tweet of German magazine re:volt--one of his...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 3, 2018

September 6, 2018 2:58 PM ET

Journalists in court The prosecutor in the trial of imprisoned journalist Nazlı Ilıcak, who is charged with "revealing information regarding state security that is supposed to be secret for espionage proposes," asked the 26th Istanbul Court of Serious Crimes for a life sentence, the daily Evrensel reported on September...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 27, 2018

August 30, 2018 3:18 PM ET

Police assault reporters in Istanbul Turkish police violently attacked several reporters trying to cover a weekly silent protest, known as the Saturday Mothers, in Istanbul's Galatasaray Square on August 25, the New York Times reported. The reporters, alongside activists participating in the protest, were attacked by the police during...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 20, 2018

August 23, 2018 10:06 AM ET

An Istanbul court on August 20 lifted the foreign travel ban on Meşale Tolu, a translator and editor for the leftist Etkin News Agency (ETHA), the daily Cumhuriyet reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 13, 2018

August 16, 2018 5:45 PM ET

Capital Markets Board issues warning on coverage of financial markets The Turkish Capital Markets Board (SPK) said in a statement that Article 107 of the Law no. 6362 on "market fraud" will be used against those who "spread fabricated, false and fallacious news about the economy," independent news website...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 6, 2018

August 9, 2018 2:58 PM ET

Journalist arrested Authorities in the southeastern city of Mardin on August 8 took Uğur Akgül, a former reporter for the shuttered pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DİHA), into custody to serve his prison sentence of two years and six months after a court rejected his appeal, according to the pro-Kurdish...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 30, 2018

August 2, 2018 12:14 PM ET

Journalist threatened Hale Gönültaş, a reporter for the news website Gazete Duvar, received a death threat on July 30, three days after the publication of her feature on the Islamic State militant group selling Yezidi women as slaves, her employer reported. Gönültaş's report stated that at least one Yezidi...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 23, 2018

July 26, 2018 1:57 PM ET

Journalist arraigned An Istanbul court on July 19 arraigned Mustafa Gökkılıç, a former reporter for the now-closed liberal daily Radikal, on charges of having ties to the Gülen movement, which the government considers a terrorist organization, according to the state news agency Anatolia....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 16, 2018

July 19, 2018 4:20 PM ET

Journalists in court An Istanbul court today found Canan Coşkun, a court reporter with the daily Cumhuriyet, guilty of "making targets of those assigned to combat terrorism" and sentenced her to two years and three months in prison, her employer reported. She is not in government custody, the report...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 9, 2018

July 12, 2018 2:31 PM ET

Journalist released Authorities in the eastern city of Elazığ on July 9 released from custody journalist Şerife Oruç, who is on trial for terrorism-related charges, the news website Gazete Karınca reported. Her trial is ongoing....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 2, 2017

July 5, 2018 4:29 PM ET

Journalists released An Istanbul court on June 27 released Mehmet Altan from Istanbul's Silvri prison pending an appeal of his conviction and life sentence, according to agency reports....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 17

June 21, 2018 1:22 PM ET

Ahead of election, OSCE highlights restrictive media environment In a report on Turkey's elections this month, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) said, "The media landscape is dominated by outlets whose owners are considered affiliated with the government or depend on public contracts." The report added...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 10

June 14, 2018 1:40 PM ET

Journalist arrested A court on June 11 ordered Berzan Güneş, a reporter for the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya news agency, to be arrested pending trial, his employer reported. The indictment accused Güneş of "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organisation" and presented as evidence the journalist's social media posts, going back to...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 28, 2018

May 31, 2018 2:38 PM ET

Journalist detained Istanbul police on May 28 detained an editor for the leftist news website Sendika, Ali Ergin Demirhan, at the website's office on suspicion of "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization," in relation to the journalist's work, his employer reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 21, 2018

May 24, 2018 4:45 PM ET

Turkey will continue to block Wikipedia During a May 18 press conference, Turkish Transportation, Maritime Affairs, and Communication Minister Ahmet Arslan said that Wikipedia will remain blocked in the country because the website portrays Turkey as a supporter of the Islamic State militant group, the daily Cumhuriyet reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 14, 2018

May 17, 2018 3:40 PM ET

Journalists imprisoned Turkish authorities in the western province of Edirne on May 11 transferred Kemal Sancılı, the publisher of the shuttered pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem, to Istanbul's Silivri Prison, two days after he was detained on suspicion of terrorism-related activities, according to a report from the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya Agency....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 30, 2018

May 3, 2018 1:45 PM ET

Feza Media Group trial ends, defendants sentenced An Istanbul court on April 30 convicted 10 people affiliated with the shuttered Feza Media Group, best known as the publisher of the daily Zaman, on terrorism-related charges, CNNTurk and the media news website P24 reported. All of the defendants were acquitted...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 23, 2018

April 26, 2018 12:21 PM ET

Cumhuriyet trial ends, defendants sentenced An Istanbul court on April 25 convicted 14 people affiliated with the independent daily Cumhuriyet on terrorism-related charges, the newspaper reported. The court placed the journalists and newspaper staff on probation and banned them from traveling until the appeals process has ended, according to...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 9, 2018

April 12, 2018 5:06 PM ET

Journalists Imprisoned An Istanbul court on April 6 arraigned İhsan Yaşar and İhsak Kabul, the publisher and responsible news editor respectively for the recently seized pro-Kurdish newspaper Özgürlükçü Demokrasi, on charges of "being members of a [terrorist] organization" and "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization," the daily Evrensel reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 2, 2018

April 5, 2018 4:54 PM ET

Journalists sentenced An Istanbul court convicted in a retrial Hasan Cemal, a veteran journalist and a columnist for the news website T24, on charges of "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization," and issued a suspended sentence of 18 months and 22 days, according to an April 3 report from...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 26, 2018

March 29, 2018 4:31 PM ET

Pro-Kurdish newspaper seized A government-affiliated insurer and fund manager took over one of Turkey's last remaining pro-Kurdish dailies, Özgürlükçü Düşünce, on March 28, and Istanbul police detained at least 27 of its staff members, according to news reports....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 19, 2018

March 22, 2018 4:41 PM ET

Media sales Doğan Holding, one of Turkey's largest conglomerates, on March 21 announced that it would sell its media assets to the pro-government Demirören Holding, according to news reports....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 15, 2018

March 15, 2018 2:09 PM ET

Supreme Court says Can Dündar should face retrial Turkey's Supreme Court of Appeals on March 9 ruled that Can Dündar, former chief editor of the daily, Cumhuriyet, and Erdem Gül, the paper's Ankara representative, should face a retrial on charges of "obtaining secret information with means of espionage," Euronews...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 5, 2018

March 8, 2018 5:20 PM ET

Journalists sentenced An Istanbul court today sentenced at least 22 journalists to prison on terrorism-related charges, according to news reports....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 26, 2018

March 1, 2018 2:36 PM ET

Journalists sentenced An Istanbul court on February 28 sentenced Ahmet Altan, the former chief editor for the shuttered daily Taraf, to five years and 11 months in prison for "insulting the [Turkish] president," and "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization," the online newspaper Diken reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 19, 2018

February 22, 2018 2:09 PM ET

Journalists acquitted, released Turkish authorities on February 17 released from jail Deniz Yücel, Turkey correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt, who had been imprisoned for a year pending investigation, according to Reuters. A Turkish court on the same day also indicted Yücel on charges of "propagandizing for a...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 12, 2018

February 15, 2018 3:05 PM ET

Journalist released, said he was sexually abused in custody Turkish authorities on February 14 released from prison photojournalist Çağdaş Erdoğan after an Istanbul court decided he should be tried without arrest, the online newspaper Artı Gerçek reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 5, 2018

February 8, 2018 2:05 PM ET

Journalists detained Istanbul police on February 1 detained Ali Sönmez Kayar, a reporter for the socialist Etkin News Agency (ETHA), according to his employer's tweet. A local court ordered Kayar to be held in custody pending investigation, on February 6, ETHA reported without providing further details....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 29

February 1, 2018 1:13 PM ET

Journalists arrested Police on the night of January 23 detained İshak Karakaş, chief editor and columnist for the online newspapers Halkın Nabzı and Artı Gerçek, at his Istanbul home as part of a sweeping crackdown on people who have criticized Turkey's military intervention in Syria, the daily Evrensel reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 22, 2018

January 25, 2018 1:22 PM ET

Journalists jailed Istanbul authorities on January 18 ordered Veli Haydar Güleç, the former board member for the shuttered TV10, and Veli Büyükşahin, a former TV10 chairperson and current columnist for the online newspaper Artı Gerçek, to be held in pre-trial detention, Artı Gerçek reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 15

January 18, 2018 4:17 PM ET

Journalists in custody Police the southeastern city of Diyarbakır on January 12 detained Selman Keleş, a former reporter for the shuttered, pro-Kurdish Dihaber News Agency, and released him the next day on order of a local court, online newspaper Gazete Karınca reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 8, 2018

January 11, 2018 3:43 PM ET

Court rules journalists should be released, but they remain in custody Turkey's Constitutional Court on January 11 ruled that local courts should release from pre-trial detention Şahin Alpay, a former columnist for the shuttered daily Zaman, and Mehmet Altan, a former host for the shuttered Can Erzincan TV and...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 1, 2018

January 4, 2018 3:16 PM ET

New decree shutters two more news outlets The Turkish cabinet on December 24 issued a decree that prompted the closure of Akdeniz Gazetesi and Isparta Çınaraltı Gazetesi, two local newspapers in the southwestern province of Isparta, the daily Evrensel reported. Under the decree, the papers were considered threats to...

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