Mehmet Baransu

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Turkey's crackdown propels number of journalists in jail worldwide to record high

At least 81 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey, all of them facing anti-state charges, in the wake of an unprecedented crackdown that has included the shuttering of more than 100 news outlets. The 259 journalists in jail worldwide is the highest number recorded since 1990. A CPJ special report by Elana Beiser

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of December 4

Journalists and activists march for press freedom in Ankara, March 19, 2011. (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Wire reporter released pending conclusion of trial
Mardin's Second Court for Serious Crimes today released Zehra Doğan, a reporter for the shuttered news agency JİNHA, pending the conclusion of her trial, which began today, the pro-Kurdish Dihaber news agency reported. Police detained Doğan on July 22, and a court arraigned her on terrorism charges on July 24, CPJ reported at the time.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 28

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan waves to supporters at an August 7, 2016, rally in Istanbul. (Ozan Kose/AFP)

Government revokes press credentials for 115 journalists
Turkey's General Directorate for Press, Broadcasting, and Information (BYEGM, by its Turkish acronym) -- the bureau within the prime minister's office responsible for accrediting journalists -- today revoked the credentials of 115 journalists, Turkey's official Anatolia News Agency reported. The government alleged the journalists were affiliated with the Hizmet movement -- or FETÖ, as the government calls it - which the Turkish government classes as a terrorist group and accuses of plotting a failed July 15 military coup that left more than 200 people dead.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 12

Turkey's Constitutional Court -- seen here in a December 11, 2009, file photo -- on June 17 rejected journalist Mehmet Baransu's contention that his rights were violated in his March 2015 arrest. (AP)

Constitutional Court rejects journalist's appeal
Turkey's Constitutional Court today ruled that journalist Mehmet Baransu's constitutional right to freedom of expression and the constitution's guarantees of press freedom were not contravened in the journalist's March 2015 arrest in connection with in an alleged, elaborate conspiracy codenamed "Sledgehammer." The same court in May 2016 rejected his petition to be released from pre-trial detention, CPJ reported at the time.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 5

Police use water cannons to disperse protesters in front of the Istanbul headquarters of the Koza İpek media group after a court ordered it put into trusteeship, October 28, 2015. A columnist for Bugün, one of the group's former holdings, was released on June 10, 2016, after seven months' pre-trial detention. (Mehmet Ali Poyraz/Cihan News Agency/AP)

Provincial officials ask journalists to submit to prior censorship: report
Top officials in southeastern Turkey's Gaziantep province, near the Syrian border, on June 1 convened local journalists to ask them not to report on "the bad things happening in the city," and to submit their stories to a group on the messaging service WhatsApp which would include the governor's press officer, Nurgün Balcıoğlu, Gaziantep correspondent for the pro-government daily Sabah told the news website Bianet today.

Alerts   |   Turkey

Turkish High Court denies journalist's petition for release from pretrial detention

Istanbul, May 18, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned a decision made Tuesday by Turkey's Constitutional Court to reject a petition for release by journalist Mehmet Baransu, who has been held in pretrial detention since March 2015 on charges of obtaining classified documents.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 15

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks to local officials at the presidential palace in Ankara, May 4, 2016. (Adem Altan/AFP)

Veteran columnist pleads 'not guilty' to charges of insulting Erdoğan
Veteran journalist Hasan Cemal, a columnist for the news website T24 and a founder of the news website P24, today pleaded not guilty to charges of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at Istanbul's 12th Criminal Court of First Instance, T24 reported.

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 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.

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