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.

Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 19
Turkey jails record number of journalists
Video: Turkey is jail for journalists
Reuters

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 26

A ruling-party supporter cheers at a February 25, 2017, rally in support of constitutional amendments to give the president more power. (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

'Media will have to watch their step,' warns deputy prime minister
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş in a February 23 speech again threatened Turkish media, according to the state-run Anadolou News Agency, the English-language newspaper Hürriyet Daily News reported.

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   |   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]

Letters   |   Germany, Turkey

CPJ asks German Chancellor Merkel to raise press freedom on Turkey visit

Ahead of her visit to Turkey, the Committee to Protect Journalists requests German Chancellor Angela Merkel to ask Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to free the dozens of journalists imprisoned in the country and to urge him to allow the more than 100 media outlets closed since failed July 2016 military coup to reopen and to operate without harassment.

January 30, 2017 1:31 PM ET

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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.

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   |   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   |   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."

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 1

Broken glass scatters across the inside of a café close to the Izmir courthouse targeted in a bombing. News outlets have been ordered to report only official statements about the attack. (STR/AFP)

Jailed investigative journalist held in isolation

Investigative journalist Ahmet Şık has been kept in isolation in prison and denied basic rights since his arrest last week, according to reports that cited his lawyer. Sık, who was detained December 29 on allegations of spreading terrorist propaganda, was kept at Metris Prison in Istanbul for three days before being transferred to Silivri Prison, according to reports.

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