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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 19

A float depicting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stands ready for the upcoming Rose Monday carnival parade in Mainz, Germany, February 21, 2017. The signs say 'democracy' and 'freedom of speech.' (Reuters/Ralph Orlowski)

Detention of Die Welt Turkey correspondent complicates relations with Germany
The detention of Deniz Yücel, Turkey correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt, has complicated relations with German officials, the socialist daily Evrensel, the German news website Handelsbatt Global, and the pro-Turkish-government Daily Sabah reported. According to a February 21 Handelsbatt Global report, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım about the German-Turkish dual citizen's case at the Munich Security Conference over the past weekend.

Blog   |   Belgium

CPJ calls for OSCE to swiftly fill press freedom representative vacancy

The Committee to Protect Journalists today joined seven other press freedom organizations in calling on the Permanent Council of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to swiftly appoint a new representative on Freedom of the Media. The incumbent representative, Dunja Mijatović, has been an outspoken defender of press freedom, but she is scheduled to leave office in one month. Details of a successor have not been announced.

February 16, 2017 10:04 AM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 12

A court on February 14, 2017, handed columnist Hasan Cemal, seen here at a colleague's funeral in Istanbul on October 30, 2015, a suspended sentence of one year and three months in prison on charges of propagandizing for a terrorist group in one of his columns.

Publisher closes magazine for cartoon lampooning Moses
The publisher of the cartoon magazine GırGır announced today that he was closing down the magazine after its publication of a cartoon depicting Moses irritating his followers wandering in the desert by talking too much and bragging about parting the Red Sea sparked outrage on social media, including from the president's office, news website T24 reported.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 5

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan chairs a meeting of the National Security Council in Ankara, January 31, 2017. (Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service/Pool via AP)

German court upholds partial ban on poem satirizing Erdoğan
A court in the German city of Hamburg today upheld a previous court's ban on comedian Jan Böhmermann's reciting 18 of 24 verses of a poem satirizing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that the comedian recited on television last year, according to press reports. Erdoğan pressed insult charges against the comedian.

[February 10, 2017]

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 29

On the 10th anniversary of his death, January 19, 2017, carnations, candles, and signs mark the spot in Istanbul where journalist Hrant Dink was murdered. The sign reads "Long live the brotherhood of people. We will not forget, we will not forgive." (Reuters/Osman Orsal)

Columnist investigated for referendum comments
Prosecutors in Istanbul opened an investigation into Bekir Coşkun, a columnist for the pro-opposition daily newspaper Sözcü, regarding remarks he made in a column about a coming referendum on whether the constitution should be amended to increase the president's powers, Dogan News Agency reported.

January 30, 2017 12:44 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 22

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses local government officials in Ankara, January 19, 2017. (Yasin Bulbul/Presidential Press Service/Pool via AP)

Diaspora news website censored before publishing
The bilingual German-Turkish news website Özgürüz ("We Are Free"), which is edited by exiled Cumhuriyet editor Can Dündar, reported that Turkish authorities had blocked access to the website 12 hours before it published its first story today. The website said it believed ozguruz.org made censorship history as the first news website to be blocked before it started publishing. CPJ honored Dündar with its 2016 International Press Freedom Award.

[January 27, 2017]

Blog   |   Azerbaijan

Azerbaijani authorities tighten screws on independent media

A man uses his laptop in a Baku street. Azerbaijan has extended its press freedom crackdown to include bloggers and social media users. (Reuters/Stoyan Nenov)

When officials in Baku released several high-profile journalists, including investigative journalist Khadija Ismayilova, from prison in May last year, the international media rights community breathed a sigh of relief. But any optimism was short-lived, with authorities in recent months prosecuting journalists and bloggers, and passing restrictive online media laws.

January 20, 2017 2:07 PM ET

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 15

A phone showing a Twitter error message in 2014. A member of Turkey's opposition party claims police are monitoring social media users as part of a planned crackdown. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic)

Newspaper distributor says security officers abducted, beat him
Barış Boyraz, a former distributor for the shuttered Kurdish-language daily Azadiya Welat, told the daily newspaper Evrensel that men he believes to be plainclothes police on December 17, 2016, abducted him from the streets of Ankara and beat him.

Blog   |   UK

UK's Section 40 press law would curb independent, investigative journalism

Labour MP Chris Bryant holds copies of the Leveson Report into press ethics in 2012, which led to the creation of Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act. A consultation on enacting the restrictive legislation, which came about as a result of the inquiry, ends January 10. (AFP/Justin Tallis)

British journalists say the future of independent and investigative journalism in the U.K. is at stake, as a deadline for public consultation on press regulation ends tomorrow. If it is implemented, Section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013 would leave news outlets not signed up to an official press regulator liable for the legal costs of both sides in any libel or privacy court case--even if the outlet won.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 8

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks in Istanbul, December 20, 2016. (Reuters/Murad Sezer)

Erdoğan praises Trump for 'beating down' CNN reporter
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan praised U.S. President-elect Donald Trump for "beating down" ("benzetmek") CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Costa in a January 11 press conference, according to media reports and video widely distributed on the internet. Trump refused to take a question from CNN at the press conference, calling the broadcaster "fake news."

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