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."

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 21

Relatives mourn outside a hospital in the southern Turkish town of Gaziantep after a suicide bomb attack killed at least 30 people, August 20, 2016. A court banned all coverage of the attack the following day. (AFP/Ahmed Deeb)

Kurdish wire reporter, newspaper employee arraigned on terrorism charges
A court in Turkey's eastern Van Province today arraigned Erdem Mühirci, a reporter for the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DİHA), and ordered him jailed, pending trial, on charges of "being a member of a [terrorist] organization" and "recruiting members for a [terrorist] organization," DİHA reported. Mühirci was among seven people detained from their homes in the district of Başkale in a series of arrest raids on August 21.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 14

A screenshot shows the August 19, 2016, front page of Özgür Gündem newspaper, released as a special edition of the socialist weekly Atılım, bearing the headline "Resistance continues."

Released journalists describe beatings in custody, headline 'Resistance continues'
Journalists from the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem, the pro-Kurdish DİHA news agency and broadcaster IMC TV released yesterday alleged that police beat and mistreated them in custody, Özgür Gündem reported on its website, which continues to publish despite a court order temporarily closing the newspaper. The journalists said they intend to file criminal complaints regarding their treatment.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 7, 2016

Participants in an August 7, 2016, pro-government rally in Istanbul wear masks depicting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Police detain 42 employees of state broadcaster
The official Anatolia News Agency reported today that police detained 42 employees of state broadcaster TRT on suspicion of affiliation with the Hizment movement, which the Turkish government alleges orchestrated a July 15 failed military coup. Anatolia did not named the detainees or their positions at TRT but said they include "inspectors" and a "news reader."

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 31

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan leaves a press conference in Ankara, July 20, 2016 (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Court indicts 12 media workers on terrorism charges
An Istanbul court last night indicted 12 journalists on charges of being a member of a terrorist organization -- the Hizmet movement, which the Turkish government classes as a terrorist group and alleges orchestrated a failed military coup on July 15 - Turkey's official Anatolia news agency reported.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 24

In this July 24, 2016, handout photo, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gives the Rabaa salute, a reference to Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawaya Square, where Egyptian soldiers and police in August 2013 killed hundreds of supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi protesting the military's ousting of the Egyptian president in July 2013. (Pool/AP)

At least 48 journalists detained in one week
Police in Turkey detained at least 48 journalists in the past week, according to the independent news website P24 and the Twitter account of Ben Gazeteciyim, a volunteer association of Turkish journalists formed to show solidarity with their threatened colleagues. At the time of publication, 21 of those detained were at Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse being interrogated by prosecutors and waiting to see a judge. Eren Şener, lawyer for journalists Bülent Mumay and Arda Akın, told the news website Bianet that prosecutors had asked his clients about their activity on Twitter, news stories they had written, and whether they viewed the Hizmet movement, which the Turkish government accuses of orchestrating a failed military coup on July 15 that left more than 200 people dead, as a terrorist organization.

According to P24 and Ben Gazeteciyim, the 21 people at Çağlayan Courthouse at the time of publication were:

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 17

Turkey's capital is calm as seen through a broken window at Ankara police headquarters, July 18, 2016, days after soldiers launched a failed attempt at a coup. (Osman Orsal/Reuters)

Police raid and seal Meydan offices

Istanbul police raided the offices of the pro-Hizmet daily Meydan at about 5 p.m. yesterday, local press reported. Police searched the offices in the Şirinevler district for three hours and confiscated documents, before sealing the building. The website of Meydan has not been updated since yesterday. The raid comes in the same week that editors at the daily were briefly detained in apparent retaliation to the paper running excerpts of an interview that the exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen gave to the international press, according the paper.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 10

Turkish businessman Aydın Doğan, shown here in a 2009 file photo, on June 13, 2016, denied tax-evasion charges before an Istanbul court. (Murad Sezer/AP)

Prosecutors interrogate journalist on suspicion of 'insulting the president'
Prosecutors in Istanbul yesterday interrogated İhsan Çaralan, a columnist for the socialist daily Evrensel, on charges of "insulting the president" in connection with a May 31 article in the beleaguered, pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem, Evrensel reported. Çaralan had symbolically acted as co-editor of Özgür Gündem on May 30 to protest authorities' relentless judicial harassment of the newspaper's staff. Çaralan also faces charges of "propagandizing for a [terrorist] organization" in connection with his participation in the solidarity campaign. He denied both charges, Evrensel reported.

[July 15, 2016]

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 4

Riot police use water cannons on crowds protesting the takeover of the Koza-İpek Media group in October 2015. An arrest warrant was issued this week for Tarık Toros, a former journalist at the group. (AP/Mehmet Ali Poyraz, Cihan News Agency)

Arrest warrant issued for TV journalist

An arrest warrant was issued yesterday for the Turkish journalist Tarık Toros, according to reports. The pro-government daily, Sabah, reported that Toros was one of more than 30 people against whom arrest warrants were issued as part of a police operation against the alleged terrorist group controlled by Fethullah Gülen. CPJ was unable to determine the charges Toros allegedly faces.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 26

Turkish journalists protest the arrest of their colleagues in Istanbul, June 30, 2016. (Adem Altan/AFP)

Columnist freed pending trial
Istanbul's 14th Court of Serious Crimes today ordered Cumhuriyet columnist Ahmet Nesin released, pending trial, the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem reported. Police on June 20 arrested Nesin, Erol Önderoğlu, Turkey representative for the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF), and Şebnem Korur Fincancı, an academic, columnist and human rights advocate, on incitement and terrorism charges for articles that appeared in Özgür Gündem on the days each symbolically acted as co-editor of the newspaper for a day to protest authorities' judicial harassment of the daily.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 19

Demonstrators protest the June 19 arrest of three people, including the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders' Turkey representative, in central Istanbul, June 21, 2016. (Ozan Kose/AFP)

Court indicts TV journalist on terrorism charges for tweets
The Bakırköy Second Court of Serious Crimes in Istanbul indicted Hamza Aktan, news editor at the pro-Kurdish television station IMC TV, on charges of "making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization" in connection with nine posts he made to Twitter from 2015 through January 2016, IMC TV reported today.

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