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."

2019


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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 23, 2019

June 27, 2019 12:15 PM ET

'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...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 16, 2019

June 20, 2019 4:03 PM ET

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...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 9, 2019

June 13, 2019 2:19 PM ET

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...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 2, 2019

June 6, 2019 2:01 PM ET

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...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 26, 2019

May 30, 2019 1:13 PM ET

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...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 19, 2019

May 23, 2019 3:25 PM ET

7 journalists sentenced in Özgür Gündem trial An Istanbul Court on May 21 sentenced seven journalists from the shuttered pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem to prison after they were convicted of "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization," the Mezopotamya News Agency reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 12, 2019

May 16, 2019 3:16 PM ET

Journalists beaten, hospitalized in Ankara and Antalya At least six men used baseball bats to beat Yavuz Selim Demirağ, a columnist for the nationalist daily Yeni Çağ, in Ankara on the evening of May 10, the same day that he appeared as a guest on a political talk show...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 5, 2019

May 9, 2019 5:48 PM ET

Journalist sentenced to 10 months in prison An Istanbul court on May 7 sentenced Cansu Pişkin, a reporter for the leftist daily Evrensel, to 10 months in prison for "making a target of a civil servant for terrorist organizations," the television news website Medyascope reported. The court suspended Pişkin's sentence...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 28, 2019

May 2, 2019 12:57 PM ET

Cumhuriyet appeal rejected by local court An Istanbul court on April 30 rejected a stay of execution request from lawyers representing eight staff from the daily Cumhuriyet, the news website T24 reported. The lawyers asked authorities to not act on a local appeals court ruling that upheld their sentencing...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 21, 2019

April 25, 2019 3:24 PM ET

Cumhuriyet staff hand themselves over to prison authorities Six former employees from the daily Cumhuriyet handed themselves into authorities today, after the legal paperwork for their failed appeal was entered into Turkey's judicial system and warrants were issued for their arrest, according to their lawyer and reports....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 14, 2019

April 18, 2019 2:56 PM ET

Sözcü journalists on trial At a hearing for journalists from the opposition daily Sözcü, in Istanbul, on April 18, the prosecutor asked that seven staff members be found guilty for "willingly and knowingly helping a [terrorist] organization without being in its hierarchical structure," the news website Diken reported. The...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 7, 2019

April 11, 2019 1:05 PM ET

14 trials in one week for Özgür Gündem publisher Over the course of one week, Turkish courts agreed to proceed with 14 cases involving Ziya Çiçekçi, a former publisher of the shuttered pro-Kurdish daily Özgür Gündem, the Mezopotamya News Agency (MA) reported. All but one of the cases involve...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 31, 2019

April 4, 2019 1:31 PM ET

Eight sentenced over Özgür Gündem campaign An Istanbul court on April 3 sentenced seven guest editors who took part in a solidarity campaign with the now shuttered daily, Özgür Gündem, the television and news website Medyascope reported....

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 24, 2019

March 28, 2019 1:21 PM ET

Court dismisses trial of Paradise Papers reporter Pelin Ünker The trial of Pelin Ünker, a former reporter for the opposition daily Cumhuriyet, who faced charges related to her coverage of the Paradise Papers, was closed on March 28 after the judge ruled that the statute of limitations had expired,...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 17, 2019

March 21, 2019 3:08 PM ET

Evrensel journalist acquitted over Paradise Papers charge An Istanbul court on March 19 acquitted Çağrı Sarı, the former responsible news editor for the leftist daily Evrensel, of insult and libel, her employer reported. The case focused on Evrensel's coverage of the Paradise Papers in April, which alleged that President...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 10, 2019

March 14, 2019 2:04 PM ET

Court convicts Gün Printing House owner and staff An Istanbul court on March 11 convicted seven employees of the Gün Printing House, including the owner, Kasım Zengin, of anti-state charges and sentenced them to prison, the pro-Kurdish Mezopatamya News Agency reported. The court acquitted 15 other employees who were...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 3, 2019

March 7, 2019 12:57 PM ET

Journalist and former CHP politician sentenced An Istanbul court on March 1 convicted Eren Erdem, the former chief editor for the defunct daily Karşı and a former parliamentary deputy in the main opposition party CHP, of "knowingly and willingly helping a [terrorist] organization without being involved in the organization's hierarchical...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 24, 2019

February 28, 2019 12:45 PM ET

RSF Turkey representative in court Erol Önderoğlu, the Turkey representative for the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), was in court in Istanbul on February 25 alongside Şebnem Korur Fincancı, a columnist for the leftist daily Evrensel and president of the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, and Ahmet...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 17, 2019

February 21, 2019 12:48 PM ET

Appeals court upholds Cumhuriyet verdict An Istanbul appeals court on February 19 upheld the terrorism-related convictions of staff from the daily Cumhuriyet who were earlier sentenced to five years or less in prison, according to reports. CPJ condemned the decision. The decision means that at least six defendants, including...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 10

February 14, 2019 2:41 PM ET

Police detain two journalists in separate raids Police on February 12 detained Salih Turan, a freelance journalist who formerly worked for the U.S. government-funded broadcaster Voice of America and the Kurdish service of the Russian-state-funded outlet Sputnik, on accusations of "making propaganda of a [terrorist] organization" on social media...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 2, 2019

February 7, 2019 1:36 PM ET

Court convicts parliamentary deputy and editor Barış Yarkadaş An Istanbul court on February 7 convicted Barış Yarkadaş, the parliamentary deputy for the main opposition party CHP and former chief editor of the online newspaper Gerçek Gündem, of "violating the secrecy of private life" and handed him a suspended 10-month...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 28, 2019

January 31, 2019 2:55 PM ET

Düzkan starts jail term for Özgür Gündem campaignJournalist Ayşe Düzkan started serving an 18-month prison sentence in Bakırköy Women's Prison in Istanbul on January 29 over her participation in a solidarity campaign with the daily newspaper Özgür Gündem, the independent news website Bianet reported. A court sentenced Düzkan in...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week beginning January 20, 2019

January 24, 2019 1:25 PM ET

Jailed journalist Nazlı Ilıcak sentenced to extra 5-year prison term An Istanbul court on January 22 sentenced veteran journalist Nazlı Ilıcak to five years and 10 months in prison for "exposing secret documents," the news website Diken reported. Ilıcak, who worked most recently with shuttered outlets Can Erzincan TV...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 13, 2019

January 17, 2019 1:18 PM ET

Turkey deports Dutch journalist Authorities on January 17 deported Ans Boersma, a Dutch freelance journalist based in Istanbul, BBC Turkish reported. The journalist was taken into custody the day before, when she tried to renew her residence permit at the Foreigners' Office in Istanbul. She was detained overnight at...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 7, 2019

January 10, 2019 1:57 PM ET

Erdoğan says Turkish media is 'more democratic' In a message to mark Working Journalists' Day--a local press freedom day on January 10--Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said, "The reforms actualized in the past 16 years have enabled the Turkish press to be richer, diverse, and meet a more democratic...

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Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of December 31, 2018

January 3, 2019 1:48 PM ET

Media watchdog fines and blocks two critical stationsTurkey's official media watchdog RTÜK has fined and censored the critical channels Halk TV and FOX TV Turkey for allegedly "provoking the people into hatred and animosity," reports said....

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