Turkey / Europe & Central Asia

  
Journalist Evrim Kepenek is seen while covering COVID-19 in Istanbul, Turkey. (Evrim Kepenek)

For Turkish journalists, fear of contracting COVID-19 competes with fear of arrest

Journalist Evrim Kepenek works in Istanbul as the women and LGBTI+ news editor for the independent news website Bianet. Like most people, she works from home these days, but she is also a street reporter who recently observed twin fears among the Turkish public: getting infected with COVID-19 and getting arrested for talking about it.

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Newspapers are seen in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 19, 2018. CPJ recently joined other press freedom groups in calling on Turkey's ad regulator to lift its ban on the leftist daily Evrensel. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

CPJ joins calls on Turkey to lift ad ban on Evrensel daily

CPJ joined the International Press Institute, Reporters Without Borders, the Journalists Union of Turkey, the European Federation of Journalists, and 20 other Turkish and international groups in a joint letter today calling for Turkey’s Press Ad Agency, the state regulator of government advertisements in print media, to lift its ban on advertising in critical leftist…

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A view of Ankara in April 2019. Turkish journalist Yavuz Selim, who was attacked in the city last year, says he continues to receive threats. (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

‘The goal is to make us stop writing’: Turkish journalists on attacks and threats

Eight months after he was attacked outside his Ankara home with baseball bats, Yavuz Selim Demirağ still has trouble sleeping. “The worry of suffering another attack at any minute messed with my psychology. Sometimes I feel like I am being followed,” the Turkish journalist said. “In the end, the threat continues. Because the attackers are…

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A newsstand is seen in Istanbul, Turkey, on April 19, 2018. CPJ and other press freedom groups recently called on Turkey's ad regulator to lift a ban on advertising in two leftist dailies. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

CPJ joins call for Turkish authorities to lift advertising ban on leftist dailies

CPJ joined representatives from the International Press Institute, Reporters Without Borders, the Journalists Union of Turkey, and the European Federation of Journalists yesterday in a joint statement calling for Turkey’s Press Ad Agency, the state regulator of government ads in print media, to lift its ban on advertising in critical leftist dailies Evrensel and BirGün.

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A man films as police detain a protester during a demonstration in Istanbul against the replacement of Kurdish mayors with state officials in three cities, on August 20. CPJ spoke with six journalists about the challenges of reporting and covering news in Turkey. (AFP/Yasin Akgul)

In Turkey, reporting is a daily struggle

Turkey is notorious as a leading jailer of journalists worldwide, a fact that can overshadow the other problems for its press. Alongside the risk of arrest, journalists must contend with daily interference. From police denying reporters access to courtrooms, arbitrarily moving them on or forcing them to leave certain areas when they are reporting on…

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Semiha Şahin, an editor at ETHA, is in legal limbo after Turkish authorities failed to fully implement the terms of her house arrest. (ETHA)

‘I could be jailed at any moment’: Turkish editor in limbo over terms of prison release

If somebody is legally under house arrest but in practice not, are they free? Semiha Şahin, an editor at the socialist Etkin News Agency (ETHA), confronts this question—and the legal ambiguity that it poses—every day. A Turkish court released the journalist under house arrest in June, pending the outcome of her trial, but authorities have…

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A court where journalists from the Zaman newspaper were tried is seen in Istanbul on July 6, 2018. CPJ joined 12 other groups in issuing a statement calling on U.N. member states to urge Turkey to improve its freedom of speech record. (AP/Lefteris Pitarakis)

CPJ joins call to UN rights council for end to press crackdown in Turkey

The Committee to Protect Journalists joined 12 other press freedom and freedom of expression organizations calling on the member states of the U.N. Human Rights Council to urge Turkey to end its repressive policies against independent reporting and free speech.

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Former staffers of the Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet--cartoonist Musa Kart (C), columnist Guray Oz (L), board member Onder Celik (L2), layers Mustafa Kemal Gungor (R2), and columnist Hakan Kara (R)--speak with journalists after their release near from Kandira prison, in Kandira, Turkey, on September 12, 2019. A joint mission to Turkey found that the press freedom situation remains highly restrictive, despite some room for very cautious optimism. (Stringer/Cumhuriyet Daily Newspaper/AFP)

Press freedom situation in Turkey remains highly restrictive, despite some room for very cautious optimism, joint mission finds

This week, the Committee to Protect Journalists joined an international press freedom mission to Turkey that met with journalists, civil society, diplomats, the judiciary, and government officials. The visiting delegation voiced concern about the continued crackdown on journalists in the country and the need for the authorities to protect a free press, address inconsistencies and…

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks during a parliamentary group meeting at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara on June 25, 2019. Two journalists are to stand trial, in separate cases, on charges of insulting the president. (AFP/Adem Altan)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 23, 2019

‘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 to Boltan’s public statements about President…

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People watch a live broadcast of a televised debate between Istanbul's mayoral candidates at a tea house in Diyarbakir on June 16, 2019. (AFP/Ilyas Akengin)

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 16, 2019

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 in, Deutsche Welle reported on June…

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