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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 19, 2017

A demonstrator walks around a bonfire to mark the spring festival of Newroz in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakır, March 21, 2016. Ethnic Kurds marked the occasion last year with a demonstration calling for the resumption of peace talks with the government. (Reuters/Sertac Kayar)

Erdoğan calls imprisoned journalists terrorists, child molesters
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan today called journalists imprisoned in the country terrorists, child molesters, and murderers, the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet reported.

Blog   |   UK

UK's proposed Espionage Act will treat journalists like spies

Theresa May, pictured in Brussels in March 2016. Her government is proposing an Espionage Act under which journalists who obtain leaked information could face lengthy prison sentences. (AP/Virginia Mayo,File)

Journalists in Britain are becoming increasingly alarmed by the government's apparent determination to prevent them from fulfilling their mission to hold power to account. The latest manifestation of this assault on civil liberties is the so-called Espionage Act. If passed by parliament, it could lead to journalists who obtain leaked information, along with the whistle blowers who provide it to them, serving lengthy prison sentences.

Blog   |   China, Germany, Internet, Russia, USA

Deciding who decides which news is fake

White House press secretary Sean Spicer talks to the media during the daily briefing. President Trump and his administration have accused critical outlets of being fake news. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Authorities decry the proliferation of misinformation and propaganda on the internet, and technology companies are wrestling with various measures to combat fake news. But addressing the problem without infringing on the right to free expression and the free flow of information is extremely thorny.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 12

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

Editor sentenced to nine years in prison
The 7th Court for Serious Crimes in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakır yesterday sentenced Aydın Atar, former news editor for the shuttered Kurdish-language daily newspaper Azadiya Welat, to nine years, four months, and 15 days in prison on charges of "propagandizing for a [terrorist] organization," the news website Dihaber reported. The journalist is free, pending appeal.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 5

Protesters in Berlin call for the release of Die Welt Turkey correspondent Deniz Yücel, February 28, 2017. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)

Suspended sentences, fines, for participants in newspaper solidarity campaign
Istanbul's 22nd Court for Serious Crimes today convicted four people of terrorism charges in connection with the coverage of the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem on the days on which they each symbolically acted as co-editor of the newspaper to protest authorities' relentless judicial harassment of the newspaper, according to news reports. Police raided and sealed the newspaper's office in August 2016, as dozens of writers, activists, academics, and artists continued to show solidarity with the newspaper by symbolically adding their names to the newspaper's masthead for a day.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 26

"Free Deniz" is written across the Berlin headquarters of publisher Axel Springer Markus Schreiber, February 28, 2017. (AP/Markus Schreiber)

Shots fired at newspaper office, no one injured
An unknown assailant in a moving taxi fired two shots from a handgun at the building housing the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet in Istanbul this morning, Cumhuriyet reported. A police investigation is in progress, the report said.

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]

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