Turkey

Trial for Turkish columnist

Columnist Murat Belge (pictured, right) stands trial on World Press Freedom day for allegedly insulting the president. A court sentences two columnists for Cumhuriyet newspaper to two years in prison each for republishing cartoons from French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo after the January 2015 attacks on their Paris offices. Istanbul airport security officials prevent four international journalists from entering the country in a week. Cumhuriyet journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül stand trial behind closed doors.

Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 1
Timeline: Erdoğan vs. the press

(Reuters/Osman Orsal)

Letters   |   Turkey

CPJ writes to Turkish foreign minister about barring of foreign journalists

CPJ writes to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu regarding the barring of four international journalists in a week, asking him to clarify Turkey's policy on the foreign press, and asking him to affirm that the international press is welcome in Turkey.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey responds to CPJ letter on Zaman takeover, denying move is politically motivated

When riot police stormed the Istanbul offices of Turkey's largest newspaper, the daily Zaman, on March 4 following a court-ordered takeover, the Committee to Protect Journalists sent a public letter to Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu, expressing dismay at the government's actions and calling on him to uphold press freedom in Turkey.

May 2, 2016 1:40 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 1

Academic and newspaper columnist Murat Belge (right) and Nobel-Prize-winning author Orhan Pamuk speak to reporters after the first session of Belge's trial in Istanbul on charges of insulting the president, May 3, 2016. (Reuters/Osman Orsal)

Columnist on trial for insulting Erdogan
Istanbul's Anadolu 2nd Court of Penal Peace yesterday began hearing the case against Murat Belge, an academic and columnist for the daily newspaper Taraf, on charges he insulted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in a September 12, 2015, column suggesting the president had rekindled a conflict with Kurdish rebels for electoral benefit, according to press reports. Belge denied the charges in court.

May 2, 2016 9:41 AM ET

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Attacks on the Press   |   Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Turkey

The Struggle for Candid Interviews

Inside a four-room apartment in Antakya, Turkey, a town on the border with Syria, more than a dozen men sat on mattresses on the floor. It was just past 10 p.m. and the soldiers, all men in the Free Syrian Army, the rebel opposition group in Syria, were busy coordinating their next trip into the country. The sound of metal clinking emanated from a back room where younger recruits were assembling Kalashnikovs and shoulder-fired missiles.

April 27, 2016 8:00 AM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 24

A man reads Cumhuriyet newspaper in Istanbul, January 14, 2015. The newspaper said police stopped delivery trucks from leaving the printers on that date to verify that the newspaper had not republished cartoons from the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. (AP)

Erdoğan says response to "sleaze" of EU's press-freedom criticism beneath his dignity
"Providing an answer to this worthlessness and sleaze would not be very appropriate for the president of Turkey," Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told reporters in Croatia yesterday, responding to EU Parliament President Martin Shulz's criticisms of Turkey's crackdown on the press, the daily newspaper Hürriyet reported.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 17

Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdoğan removes his earpiece after speaking at the Brookings Institution, in Washington, March 31, 2016 (Joshua Roberts/Reuters).

Trial resumes for journalists facing multiple life sentences
The trial of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, editor and Ankara bureau chief, respectively, of Cumhuriyet newspaper resumed behind closed doors in Istanbul today. The court today denied prosecutors' request to combine the case with another case targeting alleged supporters of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government accuses of maintaining a terrorist organization and "parallel state structure" within Turkey, according to press reports and the journalists' lawyers, who posted updates from the trial to the social media website Twitter. The trial is expected to resume on May 6.

Blog   |   Turkey

'Erdoğan is killing journalism,' says Today's Zaman editor forced out after takeover

A copy of Zaman, with a headline that reads 'Suspended, the constitution,' is held up the day after the daily was taken over by court-appointed trustees. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

Since the Turkish daily Zaman and its English-language sister publication Today's Zaman were taken over by court-appointed trustees last month, over accusations of terrorist propaganda, the papers' journalists have witnessed riot police fill their newsrooms, the arrests of colleagues, and the loss, through resignations and dismissals, of fellow journalists.

Alerts   |   Turkey

Syrian journalist killed in Turkey

New York, April 12, 2016--Syrian journalist Zaher al-Shurqat died today after being shot Sunday in the southern Turkish town of Gaziantep, according to news reports. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, making this the fourth Syrian journalist it claims to have targeted for murder in Turkey in six months.

April 12, 2016 4:33 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 10

German television satirist Jan Böhmermann poses on set in an October 13, 2013, file photo (Spiegl Ullstein Bild/Getty).

Merkel approves prosecution of German comic for insulting Erdoğan
German Chancellor Angela Merkel today told reporters the German government would allow prosecutors to act on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's request that television satirist Jan Böhmermann be prosecuted for a profane poem about Erdoğan he read on the March 31 episode of his television program.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 3

Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdoğan in Cannakale, Turkey, March 18, 2016 (Photo: Khayan Ozer/Presidential Press Service/AP)

Trial of 46 journalists, media workers resumes
The trial of 46 journalists and media workers arrested in December 2011 resumed in Istanbul today. CPJ attended the trial as an observer.

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