Turkey / Europe & Central Asia

Journalists attacked in Turkey since 1992


At-risk journalists who must flee home countries often find few quick and safe options

In 2018, journalist Mohammad Shubaat was in Daraa, Syria, caught between advancing forces aligned with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the closed borders of Israel and Jordan. Despite the dire threat to Shubaat and many of his colleagues, it would take over a year of intense negotiations with some 20 countries by the Committee to…

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Turkish journalist Sinan Aygül sentenced to jail over sexual assault reporting

Istanbul, June 14, 2021 – Turkish authorities should not imprison journalist Sinan Aygül, and the country’s Constitutional Court should accept his case, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On April 29, the First Penal Chamber of the Van Regional Court of Justice, an appeals court in eastern Turkey, upheld Aygül’s 2019 conviction on charges…

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Turkish journalist Ahmet Atmaca beaten in Gaziantep

Istanbul, June 10, 2021 – Turkish authorities should conduct a swift and through investigation into the attack on journalist Ahmet Atmaca and hold the perpetrators to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. This morning, a group of people in the southeastern city of Gaziantep attacked Atmaca, a reporter for the pro-government Demirören News…

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A raised hand holds a large ID card showing journalists in jail in place of a photo.

Turkish presidency reintroduces press card controls that court found restrictive

On April 1 this year, press freedom groups in Turkey chalked up a small win when the nation’s top administrative court, the Council of State, suspended 2018 rules that made it easier for the authorities to cancel or refuse press cards. The changes had transferred authority over press cards to the presidency and barred them…

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Turkish journalist Deniz Yücel charged with ‘degrading’ the country

Istanbul, May 13, 2021 – Turkish authorities must cease their legal harassment of journalist Deniz Yücel and drop all of the charges against him, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Yesterday, Turkish prosecutors charged Yücel, the former Turkey correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt, with “publicly degrading the Turkish nation and the State…

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Turkish police harass, detain 2 journalists covering terrorism case

On April 26, 2021, police interrupted a press conference in Istanbul, Turkey, and detained two journalists, according to news reports and video of the detentions shared on social media. Police detained Muhammed Enes Sezgin, a reporter with the pro-Kurdish Mezopotamya News Agency, and Bilal Meyveci, a camera operator with the leftist pro-Kurdish website and TV…

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CPJ welcomes release of Turkish journalist Ahmet Altan

Istanbul, April 14, 2021 — Turkey’s Supreme Court of Appeals today overturned the convictions of journalists Ahmet Altan and Nazlı Ilıcak, who were found guilty of “aiding a terrorist organization” and sentenced to 10 and a half years and eight years and nine months, respectively, in a 2019 retrial, according to reports and CPJ research. Both journalists had been freed…

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Family of slain Turkish journalist Hrant Dink vows to appeal trial verdict

Istanbul, March 29, 2021 – Turkish authorities must conduct an impartial and depoliticized investigation into the killing of journalist Hrant Dink, and ensure that all those involved in planning and committing the killing are held to account, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. On March 26, the 14th Istanbul Court of Serious Crimes acquitted…

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French journalist Sylvain Mercadier barred from entering Turkey, deported

On March 19, 2021, police in Turkey’s Istanbul Airport barred French freelance journalist Sylvain Mercadier from entering the country, detained him overnight, and deported him back to France, according to news reports, tweets by the journalist, and Mercadier, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview. Officers took Mercadier into custody soon after his flight…

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A man's hands hold a tablet against a backdrop of people seated in groups.

Turkish social media law consolidates news censorship under ‘right to be forgotten’

In late 2020, a Turkish court ruled that the leftist daily Evrensel should remove a news report alleging that a presidential advisor forged their high school diploma. Evrensel complied, Erdi Tütmez, news editor for the outlet told CPJ by email in January; the report was no longer available when CPJ reviewed the site, though it…

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