Turkey

Turkish press face arrests, harassment

Anti-press measures in Turkey are having a devastating impact on the country's media. Journalists face harassment and prosecution over social media posts; authorities repeatedly gag coverage of sensitive issues; and reporters face detentions, raids, and investigations. Mehmet Baransu, who helped the newspaper Taraf expose the alleged Sledgehammer coup plot, is charged with obtaining secret documents. Turkey's reputation as a leading jailer of journalists improves with the release of dozens of imprisoned journalists in 2014, but doubts persist over the country's commitment to press freedom.

A press freedom rally in Ankara in 2014. (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Alerts   |   Turkey

Turkish authorities block access to news websites

New York, July 28, 2015--Turkish authorities blocked access to at least eight news websites in Turkey on Saturday amid what the government called a counter-terrorism operation, according to news reports. The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Turkish authorities to restore access to the websites so that Turkish citizens can access news of public interest.

Blog   |   Turkey

Erdoğan vs the press: Insult law used to silence president's critics

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, left, looks at a cell phone during a meeting in 2013. Since Erdoğan became president there has been an increase in insult charges filed against Turkey's press. (AP/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is known for being intolerant of critics. During his third term as prime minister, Turkey was the leading jailer of journalists in the world with more than 60 behind bars at the height of the crackdown in 2012. Most of those have been released, but the press faces another threat--Article 299 of the penal code, "Insulting the President," which carries a prison term of more than four years if content deemed to be offensive is published in the press.

Alerts   |   Turkey

In Turkey, jailed journalist given new prison term as third investigation begins

Istanbul, July 1, 2015--Turkish journalist Mehmet Baransu was handed a 10-month jail sentence by an Istanbul court on June 30 for insulting President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Twitter, according to reports. Baransu, a columnist and correspondent for the privately owned daily Taraf, is already in prison while authorities investigate him on separate charges, his lawyer told CPJ.

Alerts   |   Turkey

Turkish journalist faces 23 years in prison for insulting government officials

Istanbul, June 26, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns the insult charges filed against a Turkish reporter and calls on Turkish authorities to drop them immediately. The charges against Canan Coşkun, a reporter for the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, were first reported by the Turkish media on Wednesday.

Alerts   |   Turkey

Turkish editor given suspended prison term for insulting Erdoğan on Twitter

New York, June 19, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns a suspended prison term given to the editor of the English-language Turkish daily Today's Zaman on Wednesday on charges of insulting then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a July 2014 tweet.

Alerts   |   Turkey

Erdoğan threatens Cumhuriyet, editor-in-chief over arms smuggling report

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a rally on May 26, 2015. (AP/Burhan Ozbilici)

Istanbul, June 1, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's legal threats against pro-opposition daily newspaper Cumhuriyet and Can Dündar, its editor-in-chief, whom the president accused of espionage during a live broadcast Sunday night on state-run television.

Alerts   |   Turkey

In Turkey, photographer denied entry and freelance journalist goes on trial

Fréderike Geerdink outside a Turkish court on April 8. At the opening of her trial, a prosecutor who recently took over the case, called for the Dutch freelance journalist to be acquitted of spreading terrorist propaganda. (AFP/Ilyas Akengin)

Istanbul, April 8, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Turkish authorities to improve conditions for international reporters after news reports said German freelance photographer Andy Spyra, who flew to Istanbul to cover the anniversary of the Armenian massacre, was denied entry to the country. Separately, the trial of Dutch freelance journalist Fréderike Geerdink, who is facing terrorism charges over her reporting on the Kurdish minority, began today, according to news reports.

Statements   |   Turkey

Turkish parliament passes restrictive Internet bill

New York, March 20, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed at the passage of a bill late Thursday by Turkish Parliament. The bill will allow Turkish cabinet members to ban websites deemed harmful to national security without a court order and will allow the country's telecommunications authority to impose hefty fines on websites that it believes violates the bill. The bill now awaits President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's signature.

March 20, 2015 2:43 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Turkey

Turkish journalist charged over secret documents from Sledgehammer case

New York, March 4, 2015--The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Turkish authorities to release Mehmet Baransu, a columnist and correspondent for the privately-owned daily newspaper Taraf, who has been charged with obtaining secret documents and held in custody since March 1, according to news reports.

March 4, 2015 6:09 PM ET

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