Turkey

Turkey world's worst jailer of journalists

In a crackdown unprecedented since CPJ began keeping records in 1991, Turkey jails more journalists than any other country in 2016 and closes some 178 news outlets and publishing houses by decree in the space of five months, allowing only a handful to reopen. Using emergency powers, the government vastly expands its latitude to close media organizations on broad, ill-defined grounds, to censor the internet, and to investigate internet users without court orders.

Video: Turkey prepares for referendum
Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 16
Turkey jails record number of journalists
Reuters

Alerts   |   Turkey

Journalists detained in wake of Turkey referendum

Supporters of the 'No' campaign in Turkey's referendum protest in Istanbul on April 17. At least three journalists covering opposition to the vote have been detained. (AFP/Bulent Kilic)

New York, April 21, 2017--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Turkish authorities to stop jailing journalists and suppressing dissent in the wake of a referendum to change Turkey's system of governance from parliamentary to presidential. In the past week, police arrested at least three journalists and raided the newsroom of leftist website Sendika for reporting on protests over alleged irregularities in the referendum.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 16, 2017

Opposition protesters shout slogans in Istanbul, April 17, 2017. (Reuters/Yagiz Karahan)

Wire reporter jailed
The Supreme Court of Appeals on April 14 upheld the Second Mardin Court for Serious Crimes' November 2016 sentence of two years and four months in prison against Meltem Oktay on charges of "making propaganda for a terrorist organization," the news website Dihaber reported yesterday.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 9, 2017

Opposition politicians and press freedom advocates call for the release of journalists jailed in Turkey in an April 9, 2017, protest in Istanbul. (AFP/Yasin Akgul)

Erdoğan vows jailed Die Welt correspondent will never return to Germany
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last night vowed that Die Welt Turkey correspondent Deniz Yücel, a dual citizen of Germany and Turkey would never be allowed to return to Germany so long as he was president, the online newspaper Diken reported.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 2, 2017

Security forces stand guard atop a building in Istanbul as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gives a speech in favor of amendments to the constitution that would increase his powers, March 26, 2017. (Reuters/Murad Sezer)

Cumhuriyet journalists respond to indictment

Cumhuriyet journalists Kadri Gürsel and Murat Sabuncu, who were listed in an indictment against the Turkish daily earlier this week, reacted to the accusations presented to the court, online newspaper Demokrat Haber and Cumhuriyet reported yesterday.

Statements   |   Turkey

UPDATE: In Turkey, authorities rule to free journalists, then reverse decision

Abdullah Kılıç (Courtesy of Kılıç family)

New York, March 31, 2017-- Istanbul's 25th Court for Serious Crimes ordered the release pending trial of at least 19 journalists jailed in the aftermath of the July 2016 failed coup attempt in Turkey, but the decision was reversed after an appeal by the chief prosecutor, and none of the journalists were freed, according to news reports. The news website P24 reported on Twitter that the prosecutor filed new charges against some of the journalists, while others were kept in custody due to a decision by another court.

March 31, 2017 12:40 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 26, 2017

Abdullah Kılıç, courtesy of the Kılıç family

Istanbul court orders release, pending trial, of at least 19 journalists
Istanbul's 25th Court for Serious Crimes today ordered the release, pending trial, of at least 19 journalists imprisoned in direct relation for their work following the July 2016 failed military coup, according to news reports. The court did not drop any charges against the journalists, who had been imprisoned awaiting trial for roughly eight months. They will now be required to check in with local police and are still banned from foreign travel. The journalists released by Istanbul's 25th Court for Serious Crimes today, and their outlets, are:

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)

Security forces detain reporter in southeastern Turkey
Security forces in the southeastern province of Mardin today detained Dihaber reporter Murat Verim, the news agency reported. Dihaber said the arrest was part of an ongoing terrorism investigation.

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.

Statements   |   Turkey

Die Welt Turkey correspondent jailed pending trial

Demonstrators in Berlin protest Turkey's jailing of Die Welt correspondent Deniz Yücel, February 28, 2017. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)

New York, February 28, 2017--Turkish prosecutors should immediately and unconditionally drop all charges against Deniz Yücel, Turkey correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Istanbul's Ninth Court of Penal Peace last night ordered the journalist, a dual citizen of Turkey and Germany detained since February 14, jailed pending trial on charges of "propagandizing for a [terrorist] organization" and "provoking the people to hatred and animosity," based on his journalism for Die Welt, according to German and Turkish press reports.

February 28, 2017 12:46 PM ET

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