A man holds up a placard as people demonstrate in support of Turkish daily newspaper Zaman in front the headquarters in Istanbul on March 4, 2016.
An Istanbul court on Friday ordered into administration the Turkish daily newspaper Zaman  that is sharply critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, amid growing alarm over freedom of expression in the country.  / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Turkey: EU must hold Turkish President accountable for press freedom violations

Updated 28.07.2016. As arrests of journalists and media closure continue, the European and the International Federation of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) call on the European Union to take additional steps to hold Turkish president Erdogan accountable for press freedom breaches.   Since the coup aimed at toppling President Erdogan failed on 16 July, the EFJ and IFJ have been alerting on the number of arrests of journalists and media closure for being allegedly  associated with the pro-Gülen movement accused of being behind the failed coup.   The situation came to a point where local media’s fear to be arrested is leading to an increasing…

Turkish journalists protested against the arrest of colleagues in Ankara on June 30, 2016.
The Turkey representative for Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has been released with conditions after he was detained 10 days ago on "terrorist propaganda" charges, the head of the media rights group said on June 3, 2016. RSF chief Christian Deloire confirmed the release of Erol Onderoglu to AFP, while local media said rights activist and academic Sebnem Korur Fincanci had also been freed. Journalist Ahmet Nesin could also be released shortly pending a judge's decision, according to the same sources. 

Turkey: press freedom in the grip of major crackdown following failed coup

UPDATED 27.07.16 An ongoing crackdown on the media in Turkey has led to the arrests of more journalists and raids on their homes. The International and the European Federation of journalists (IFJ/EFJ) today denounced the deterioration of democratic rule, of which press freedom is one of the pillars. On 22 July, Zehra Dogan, painter and editor at women’s news agency JINHA, was arrested by police in Mardin, south-east of Turkey. She was taken to the Nusaybin police office the following day. During the interrogation, she was accused of “being a member of the terrorist organisation PKK.” The anti-terror prosecutor Irfan…

Greece: union representative dismissed at Alpha 989 radio station

Journalists at Greece’s Alpha 989 radio station are to meet to consider action following the “unfair, illegal and abusive” dismissal of their union representative. The International and European Federations of Journalists have pledged their support to Greek affiliate JUADN following the sacking of Georgia Ioannidou. The union had given the radio station’s board a deadline to reinstate Georgia, who is also a board member of JUADN, but the company failed to act. In a statement the union said: “Our colleague has been targeted for being a union representative and her persistence in taking up issues with the personnel department such…

Ukrainian police officers and security services experts examine the charred car of journalist Pavel Sheremet, after he was killed in a car bomb in Kiev on July 20, 2016.
A car bomb in central Kiev today morning killed well-known pro-Western journalist Pavel Sheremet, AFP journalists and officials said. The 44-year-old, originally from Belarus but a Russian citizen who worked for Ukrainska Pravda, an independent news site, died when an explosion tore through the car he was in.

EFJ and IFJ condemn murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet in Ukraine

A prominent journalist specialising in relations between Russia and Ukraine, Pavel Sheremet, has been murdered today by a car bomb in Kiev. The International Federation of Journalists and European Federation of Journalists, have joined affiliates in Ukraine and Russia, in condemning the killing. Pavel Sheremet, who worked for the Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper and radio Vesti died when the car he was driving exploded shortly after it started, according to the Ukrainian Prosecutor’s Office. He was heading to the radio’s office to host his morning show. Some reports claim the car belonged to his employer, Alyona Pritula, the founder and chief editor of…

French National Assembly speaker Claude Bartolone speaks on July 6, 2016 at the end of the questions to the government session at the National Assembly in Paris.
French Socialist Prime Minister Manuel Valls on July 5 bypassed parliament to force through labour reforms that have sparked four months of strikes and street protests. The labour bill now continues on its bicameral shuttle. It returns to the Senate before its definitive adoption by the lower house on July 20 -- when Valls is expected to again resort to the 49-3 manoeuvre for the final step.


France: parliament voted to restrict journalists’ protection of sources

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined its French affiliates, the Syndicat national des journalistes (SNJ) and the Syndicat national des journalistes-CGT (SNJ-CGT), to denounce the last-minute amendment voted on Monday 18 July by the National Assembly, to restrict journalists’ protection of sources, only a few days following the Nice attack. Submitted a few hours before the new reading of the proposal to strengthen the freedom, independence and pluralism of the media, the amendment foresees to restrict the protection of journalists’ sources when they violate the “secret of national defence” and “the fundamental interests of the Nation.” This extension is considered “indispensable” because of…


Turkey: International community must take a strong stand against freedom violations

Attacks targeting the media in Turkey have led the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) to alert the Council of Europe about a series of new press freedom violations. The federations are calling on the International and European communities to take concrete steps against the Turkish government’s assaults on fundamental human rights that are contrary to international and European conventions. Mustafa Cambaz, a photojournalist for the Turkish Daily Yeni Safak was killed during the attempted coup in Turkey on 15 July. In the early hours of Saturday 16 July, Turkish soldiers who attempted to overthrow the government seized control…


EFJ Focus July 2016

The EFJ newsletter, EFJ Focus, is available in English, French and German.   EDITORIAL Dialogue with publishers I was invited by the European Magazine Media Association to attend a conference about the evolution of media and threats to press freedom on 30 June in Wroclaw, Poland. Following the conference, I also held several informal meetings with other publishers in the media and engaged in dialogue on issues of common interests.We share some common interests with publishers such as the increasing threats to press freedom while we have our differences such as collective bargaining. But we all face big challenges and it requires us to work together whenever possible. Such as…

Turkish solders stay with weapons at Taksim square as people protest against the military coup in Istanbul on July 16, 2016. 
Turkish military forces on July 16 opened fire on crowds gathered in Istanbul following a coup attempt, causing casualties, an AFP photographer said. The soldiers opened fire on grounds around the first bridge across the Bosphorus dividing Europe and Asia, said the photographer, who saw wounded people being taken to ambulances.


A photojournalist killed and media occupied in Turkey: press freedom was targeted

Mustafa Cambaz, photojournalist for the Turkish daily Yeni Safak was killed by soldiers during the attempt coup in Turkey, last night, in the Cengelkoy neighborhood of Istanbul. Soldiers took control of the state broadcaster TRT, the private broadcasters CNN-Turk and Kanal D, and the daily newspaper Hurriyet. In the Ankara studios of TRT, news anchor Tijen Karas was forced to read a statement at gunpoint. Several journalists were attacked during the clashes. In Istanbul, civilians protesting the coup beat Selçuk Şamiloğlu, a photojournalist for Hurriyet and the Associated Press. Following the attempted coup, the Information Technologies and Communications Authority (BTK, the…


Turkey: Charges against five journalists must be dropped

Charges of acquiring and divulging state secrets, membership of, and administration of a terrorist organisation brought against five journalists, including four former members of Taraf newspaper’s editorial and investigative staff, must be dropped and one of the accused, Mehmet Baransu, must be released immediately and unconditionally,the European Federation of Journalists,the International Federation of Journalists, PEN International, English PEN, German PEN, Swedish PEN, PEN America, Article 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists,, the Ethical Journalism Network, IFEX, Index on Censorship, Global Editors Network and Reporters Without Borders said in a joint statement today (14/07/2016). “These charges are a clear infringement of the…


I am a journalist campaign running in Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports the I am a journalist  #Bengazeteciyim campaign launched by journalists and media freedom advocates from Turkey.  European journalists stand in solidarity with their colleagues in Turkey who fiercely continue their job despite facing relentless attacks and attempts to silence them. The support is also extented to the 34 journalists and media workers in jail and to those facing arrest as retaliation for their exercise of their right to freedom of expression and freedom to inform. I am a journalist! Journalism is not a crime. In Turkey, oppression of the press is getting worse by the day.…


AFP: End contracts’ masquerade!

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined the campaign launched by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) to denounce Agence France Presse’s (AFP) “unacceptable” contracts. AFP is demanding its photographic stringers across the globe, in offices outside of France, to sign contracts which include the full assignment of their authors’ rights without any additional remuneration. The IFJ has condemned such “unfair” practices and is calling for an immediate revision of the standard contracts imposed on photographers working for AFP. The IFJ is also calling on photographers not to sign the contracts as they stand. The EFJ and the IFJ has been campaigning for years against rights grabbing contracts (Further…

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