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…

Turkey: Cumhuriyet journalists face trial on 24 July

The trial involving 17 journalists and executives of Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet will start on Monday 24 July at 9:00am in Istanbul’s Çağlayan Justice Palace. The trial is expected to continue until Thursday 28 July. The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) join their affiliates TGS and DISK Basin-Is  in condemning the trial which is based on unfounded accusations that the paper is secretly supporting the PKK – a militant Kurdish organisation and FETO, the group allegedly responsible for last year’s failed coup. EFJ president Mogens Blicher Bjerregård will be present at the trial on behalf of both…

Turkish government shuts down 15 Kurdish media outlets

The Turkish government issued on Saturday 29 October a decree shutting down 15 Kurdish media outlets: 11 newspapers, two news agencies and three magazines. The latest closures bring the number of media outlets shut down under state of emergency in Turkey to 168. The Turkish government declared a state of emergency on 20 July, following the failed coup attempt on 15 July. This situation allows the government to close any media organization by issuing a cabinet decree. Here is the list of media outlets targeted by the decree issued on Saturday: Newspapers: Özgür Gündem, Azadiya Welat, Batman Çağdaş , Cizre Postası…

Turkey: Day of Action Today #FreeThemAll

Ninety journalists are currently in jail in Turkey for doing their job. Critical voices must not be silenced!  Today, on Friday 21, world journalists will sponsor journalists in jail in Turkey in a show of solidarity. Take action! How? Pick the name of a journalist jailed in Turkey from the list below, add the name of the journalist on an A4 paper, take a picture of yourself holding the sign and post it on social media #FreeThemAll Sign the petition. It will automatically send an email to President Erdogan via his spokesperson   This work can be done anytime throughout the…

Turkey: 90 journalists in jail – have your say!

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is joining the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in its global solidarity action on 21 October to support journalists in Turkey and our affiliates the Journalists’ union of Turkey (TGS), the Progressive Journalists’ Association (PJA), the Association of journalists of Turkey (TGC) and DİSK Basın-İş. The action is part of the IFJ and EFJ campaign Set journalism free in Turkey that both federations have been running together since 2010. It consists of a one-day show of solidarity action where free journalists can sponsor jailed journalists in Turkey on social media. The action includes an online petition calling on…

Turkey’s journalists prosecution marathon has started !

This morning (21/09/2016), the Caglayan Court of Justice in Istanbul heard 5 different prosecution cases against journalists. The EFJ-IFJ and its affiliates TGS (Journalists Union of Turkey), DISK-Basin-Is (Journalists Union of Turkey from DISK) and TGC (Journalists Association of Turkey) have been able to observe the following cases : the appeal in the MIT Trucks case where journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül  working for Cumhuriyet newspaper who were sentenced to 5 years in jail for revealing state secrets and arms trafficking between Turkish intelligence services (MIT) and Syrian armed rebel groups. The hearing was held in secret but this did not…

Turkey: solidarity with a newspaper is not a crime

The first hearing at Istanbul court of justice was this morning (20/09/2016) against journalists Ayse Düzkan, Ragip Duran, Hüseyin Akyol and Inan Kizilkaya. The four journalists are being prosecuted for participating in a solidarity campaign with the Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem. After 20 minutes hearing, the judges decided to merge this case with 20 other similar cases and to resume the hearing on 15th December 2016. Before the case started, supporters gathered outside the court house to make public statements. The EFJ-IFJ representatives, Barry White and Mehmet Koksal, were present along with DISK Basin-Is members (journalists union), TGS members (journalists’…

Abusive behaviors and threats against Turkish journalists in detention

Evrensel journalists Hasan Akbaş, Fırat Topal and Serpil Berk, as well as Reuters’ correspondent Sertaç Kayar have been recounting “the torture and threats” they faced after being arrested as the crackdown on media continues across Turkey. The European and International Federation of Journalists (FEJ/FIJ) has joined their affiliate DISK Basin-Is in demanding an end to the crackdown and respect for the rights of professional media workers. The four journalists were among the first on the scene following a bomb attack on 10 August in the Southeast Anatolian province of Diyarbakir. Deemed suspicious by the police for being in the vicinity of…