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 October 16

A demonstrator carrying a carnation to commemorate last year's bombing of a train station in Ankara meets a policeman in riot gear, October 10, 2016. (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Man accused of shooting at award-winning editor freed pending trial
A court in Istanbul today ordered Murat Şahin--the man accused of attempting to shoot former Cumhuriyet newspaper editor Can Dündar during a break in Dündar's trial on May 6--released pending the conclusion of his trial, Hürriyet Daily News reported.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 10

Two columnists freed from jail on appeal

Lale Kemal, a columnist who wrote for the dailies Taraf and Zaman, and Nuriye Akman, a columnist for Zaman, were released from prison yesterday on appeal, the English-language news blog Turkish Minute reported.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 2

News anchor Banu Guven (L) gets ready for a news broadcast at a studio of IMC TV, a news broadcaster slated for closure, in Istanbul, Turkey, September 30, 2016. (Reuters/Huseyin Aldemir)

Reporter arraigned on terrorism charges for Facebook posts
The Mersin Court of Penal Peace last night arraigned Cemil Uğur, a reporter for the left-wing Evrensel newspaper, on charges of "being member of a [terrorist] organization," and "propagandizing for a [terrorist] organization," his employer reported. Police held Uğur for 16 days in August, before a court ordered him released on probation on September 7. The court in the southern city of Mersin based its order to jail him pending trial on posts to the journalist's Facebook account. The journalist denies the charges and says the posts in question were published when his account was hacked.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 25

In this July 21, 2016, file photo, a merchant reads the newspaper in Istanbul. (AP/Petros Giannakouris)

Reporter arraigned on terrorism charges for having app on phone
A court in the southern Turkish city of Isparta on September 24 arraigned Ramazan Alkan, a reporter for the pro-government, Islamist daily Yeni Akit on terrorism charges for having an app on his phone authorities believe followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen use to communicate with each other in secret, his employer reported today. The Turkish government accuses Gülen of leading a terrorist organization and "parallel state structure" within Turkey that it blames for a July 15 failed military coup. Gülen denies any role in the attempted coup.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 18

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks at the G20 summit in Gangzhou, China, September 5, 2016. (Reuters/Damir Salgoj)

Taraf chief editor detained hours after release

Hours after his release from prison, the writer and journalist Ahmet Altan was detained again. Altan turned himself in late last night and was arrested after hearing that he was wanted by authorities, according to reports. According to a report in the daily, Hürriyet, the prosecution objected to Altan's release under judicial control and argued that as the founding chief editor of the daily, Taraf, the journalist was a part of the FETÖ/PDY organization. The court ordered the journalist to be detained again under accusations of "attempting to eliminate the government of the Republic of Turkey or to prevent it from its duties" and "being member of a [terrorist] organization." Despite some pro-government media reports on Altan being detained while on the run, other reports and accounts on social media said the journalist turned himself in. Both Altan brothers, Ahmet and Mehmet are at Silivri Prison in Istanbul, pending trial

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 11

In this October 11, 1999, file photo, Turkish writers (left to right) Orhan Pamuk, Ahmet Altan, and Yasher Kemal hold a news conference to urge a peaceful resolution to the conflict with Kurdish separatists. Police detained Altan and his brother, Mehmet, on September 10, 2016. (Reuters)

Eid holiday leaves detained writers in legal limbo, lawyers say
Veysel Ok and Ergin Cinmen, lawyers for Mehmet and Ahmet Altan, two prominent writers detained four days ago, yesterday made a joint statement saying that because of the Eid holiday they could not find the responsible prosecutor or a court in which to appeal their clients' detention.

They called the charges against the brothers - sending "subliminal messages" about the July 15 failed military coup in their writings before the fact - "unserious."

[September 13, 2016]

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 4

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan adjusts his earpiece at the conclusion of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, September 5, 2016. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj)

Police raid Kurdish magazine office
Police raided Istanbul office of the pro-Kurdish magazine Özgür Halk today, the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reported. DİHA reported that the raid, which was in progress at the time of publication, was related to the magazine's feature commemorating August 15, the date the banned Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) took up arms against the state. Police in the Mediterranean city of İzmir raided the magazine's office there on September 5 and arrested magazine staffer Rabia Özkaya.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 28

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan waves to supporters at an August 7, 2016, rally in Istanbul. (Ozan Kose/AFP)

Government revokes press credentials for 115 journalists
Turkey's General Directorate for Press, Broadcasting, and Information (BYEGM, by its Turkish acronym) -- the bureau within the prime minister's office responsible for accrediting journalists -- today revoked the credentials of 115 journalists, Turkey's official Anatolia News Agency reported. The government alleged the journalists were affiliated with the Hizmet movement -- or FETÖ, as the government calls it - which the Turkish government classes as a terrorist group and accuses of plotting a failed July 15 military coup that left more than 200 people dead.

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.

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