Pre-trial detention extended for Cumhuriyet journalists despite clear demonstrations

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) condemn the court’s decision to maintain the five Cumhuriyet journalists and media workers in pre-trial detention, after a 13-hour long hearing at Silivri prison, on 11 September 2017. The court ordered their detention despite clear demonstration by the defendants’ lawyers that the accusations of “without being a member of that organisation, spreading propaganda on behalf of an illegal terrorist organisation” were completely baseless. An international delegation including the EFJ-IFJ, IPI, PEN International, Norsk PEN, PEN Vlaanderen, RSF, foreign consulate representatives, foreign press correspondents and MEP Rebecca Harms has attended the hearing and shared solidarity…

Turkish court frees seven jailed journalists

The trial, which began on Monday 24 July, involved 17 Cumhuriyet journalists and executives wrongfully accused of secretly supporting the PKK – a militant Kurdish organisation and FETO, the group allegedly responsible for last year’s failed coup. The Cumhuriyet employees on trial are editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu, columnist Kadri Gürsel, CEO Akin Atalay, printing administrator Önder Çelik, attorney Bülent Utku, cartoonist Musa Kart, columnist Hakan Karasinir, attorney Mustafa Kemal Güngör, reporter Ahmet Şık, editor Turhan Günay, columnist Güray Öz, columnist Hikmet Aslan Çetinkaya, former editor-in-chief Can Dündar, columnist Aydin Engin, financial manager Bülent Yener, accounting manager Günseli Özaltay and columnist Orhan…

Turkey: Press freedom on trial

The EFJ is closely following the proceedings that started on Monday 24 July in Istanbul against 17 prominent journalists, editors and board members of Cumhuriyet newspaper, including Can Dündar, Kadri Gürsel, Murat Sabuncu and Ahmet Şık. EFJ president Mogens Blicher Bjerregård participated in the court case on 24-25 July and met several journalists and EFJ affiliates. Below a personal account of his impressions: Press freedom must be protected, and not put on trial as it has happened this week in Istanbul with the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet. 17 journalists and executives are accused in a completely political and fabricated way for…

Cumhuriyet trial in Turkey: “This case is about criminalizing journalism”

The president of the European Federation of Journalists Mogens Blicher Bjerregård is attending today in Istanbul the opening of the trial of 17 journalists and executives at Turkish opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet.  “Journalism is not a crime,” chanted several hundred people gathered outside the central Istanbul court to protest against the prosecution of journalists, executives and lawyers of Cumhuriyet. “You can really feel the solidarity present in the courtroom,” said Mogens Blicher Bjerregård. “Let’s hope for justice.” On the behalf of the international support group attending the trial, Steven M. Ellis, from the International Press Institute, delivered the following statement, in front…

New wave of arrests targeting daily Cumhuriyet in Turkey

UPDATE 05.11.2016 – The Turkish court sent this morning 9 executives and columnists of Cumhuriyet newspaper to prison : Murat Sabuncu, Kadri Gürsel, Musa Kart, GürayÖz, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Turhan Günay, Hakan Kara, Önder Çelik and Bülent Utku. All 9 @cumhuriyetgzt journos jailed in #Turkey We denounce these political decision with strong indignation #FreeTurkeyJournos #FreeKadri — Erol Önderoglu (@ErolOnderoglu) November 5, 2016 The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) today condemned the new wave of media repression by Turkish authorities following the detention of Murat Sabuncu, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Cumhuriyet, arrested this morning together with 15 other media staff of the newspaper. They are accused of assisting the so-called Fethullahist…

Press freedom must be a part of any agreement with Turkey

The European Federation of Journalist (EFJ) has strongly condemned the assassination attempt on 6 May in Istanbul against journalist Can Dündar (editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet daily newspaper) and the jail sentences of 5 years and 10 months for Can Dündar and 5 years for Erdem Gül for procuring, revealing and publishing state secrets. Cumhuriyet published in May 2015 footage that show Turkey’s state intelligence agency ferrying weapons into Syria in 2014, the journalists have since been accused of revealing state secrets. “This new verdict is clearly unacceptable, in contradiction with Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruling and nobody can claim of a fair trial since the court decided to hold the trial behind closed…

Two arrested journalists released in Turkey after 92 days

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) warmly welcomed today Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruling on February 25 stating that the rights of Cumhuriyet newspaper journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül have been violated and underlining the lack of justification to jail them following the publication of several articles. The ruling refers to the violations of Article 19 (“right to personal liberty and security”), Article 26 (freedom of expression) and Article 28 (press freedom) of Turkey’s Constitution. Dündar and Gül were arrested on 26 November 2015 after the newspaper’s reporting and footage of the content of trucks belonging to the National Intelligence Agency.…

ETUC urges Turkey to free jailed journalists

Luca Visentini, General Secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), together with ITUC and DISK trade union leaders, went to Istanbul prison to show solidarity with Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, two journalists and trade unionists who are in jail accused of being spies and enemies of the state for having published articles about weapon trafficking to Syria by the Turkish secret services. European and International trade unions demand the immediate release of the journalists. “We are here to show solidarity with Turkish journalists. The Turkish authorities and President are neglecting fundamental rights and freedoms, such as right of…

Europe shocked by life sentences demanded against journalists in Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) have been shocked by the indictment of a Turkish prosecutor demanding on 27/01/2016 during a court hearing in Istanbul “aggravated life imprisonment and imprisonment up to 30 years” for Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, two prominent journalists working for the daily Cumhuriyet in Turkey. According to Turkish media reports, the 473-page indicment against journalists read by the prosecutor İrfan Fidan was solely based on opinions and articles published by the newspaper. Can Dündar, editor in chief of Cumhuriyet and Erdem Gül, the newspaper’s bureau chief in Ankara have…

Turkey must allow supporters to meet with imprisoned journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül

Leading international free expression and press freedom groups condemn government’s refusal to allow supporters to visit pair jailed for their reporting, call for their release A coalition of leading international free expression and press freedom groups condemns the Turkish government’s refusal to allow supporters to visit journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, who are behind bars for reports claiming that Turkey’s intelligence agency secretly armed Islamist rebel groups in Syria, and calls for their immediate release. Dündar, editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet, and Gül, the newspaper’s Ankara bureau chief, are being held at the high-security Silivri Prison, west of Istanbul, reportedly awaiting…

Italian journalists protest against attacks on press freedom in Turkey

The Italian National Press Federation (FNSI, EFJ-IFJ affiliate) together with USIGRai, Articolo 21, RSF Italy, Amnesty Italy and other press freedom groups organised a demonstration today (21/01/2016) in front of the Turkish embassy in Rome  to protest against grave attacks on press freedom in Turkey. This includes the ongoing prosecution of journalists Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Cetinkaya in Turkey for publishing the cover of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The two journalists working for the daily Cumhuriyet are accused by 11 plaintiffs (including family members of the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan) of “deliberately willing to humiliate the religious values of the big part…

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