Turkey violated rights of journalists Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on Turkish authorities to release without any delay all journalists wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey after the European Court of Human Rights ruled today against Turkey on applications filed on behalf of Turkish journalists Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan, who were imprisoned following the failed coup attempt in July 2016. The Strasbourg court issued today a decision on the provisional detention of Mehmet Altan and Şahin Alpay for more than a year and a half. The decision stated that “the investigating authorities had been unable to demonstrate any factual basis” that indicate that both journalists…

Omar Aourtilane Prize in solidarity with journalists in Turkey

The Algerian Arabic-language daily El Khabar has decided to award this year its prestigious Omar Aourtilane International Prize for Press Freedom to the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS, an EFJ-IFJ affiliate) in solidarity with imprisoned and prosecuted journalists in Turkey for their journalistic activities. The eighteenth edition of the ceremony was held in Algiers on December 7, 2017 at the headquarters of the KBC television channel, owned by the Algerian private group El Khabar, in the presence of journalist Zoubir Souissi who chaired the jury assisted by journalist Kaddour Hamlaoui (France 3) and Zakia Aourtilane , Secretary General of this prize. “The…

Journalists in Turkey facing more and more imprisonment

November was a difficult month again for imprisoned and prosecuted journalists in Turkey. More and more professional journalists and media workers are facing imprisonment or threats for reporting information or simply for being affiliated to specific media outlets, wrongly considered by Turkish authorities as criminal acts. On 21 November 2017, journalist Oğuz Güven, editor-in-chief of the online version of Cumhuriyet daily newspaper, was sentenced to 3 years and 1 month of imprisonment due to a temporary tweet which Mr Güven had sent and quickly deleted regarding the accidental death of a public prosecutor. Mustafa Alper, the Chief Public Prosecutor of Denizli, died…

Safety protocol with 16 points for journalists covering conflict zones

The Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) in partnership with the European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) successfully organised a 2-day Safety Workshop in Diyarbakir (Southeast of Turkey) on 03-04 October 2017 for local and visiting journalists regularly covering conflict zones in the region. This workshop was organised in the framework of the IFJ-EFJ-TGS project called #GazetecilikSuçDegildir / #JournalismisNOTaCrime, a campaign to set journalism free, develop trade union rights and defend freedom of expression in Turkey which receives the financial support of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) Program managed by the European Commission. 30 journalists and media workers…

Turkey : TGS secures a new collective agreement at 9 Eylül daily

Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS, EFJ-IFJ affiliate) announced today (29/09/2017) the signature of a new collective agreement for journalists and media workers employed by 9 Eylül daily newspaper in Izmir (Turkey). The collective agreement include an increase in salary (+100 TL) for all the workers employed by the newspaper during the first year and a second increase (+250 TL) for the upcoming years. The staff will also receive a bonus (+500 TL) twice a year as a gift, an additional bonus (+500 TL) to cover crèche fees for workers under aged children, an exceptional gift (+1500 TL) for workers getting married,…

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…

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…

Turkey: first criminal trial against journalists over attempted coup

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) yesterday sent an observer to Istanbul to monitor the first trial against journalists accused of participating in the 15 failed coup of last July. The trial, which may shed light on how the courts will approach numerous cases concerning the right to freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial under the state of emergency, has amplified international concerns over press freedom in Turkey. Raffaele Lorusso, General Secretary of the affiliate Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana (FNSI) and an IFJ Executive Committee member, yesterday attended the trial of…

Sharing practices to organise journalists in Turkey

The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) organised on 2nd of May 2017 a workshop for TGS trade unionists (Journalists Union of Turkey) in Istanbul with Tim Dawson (NUJ President) as the trainer. In the training, the NUJ example in the UK was discussed and TGS branch and national leaders debated various issues including collective bargaining, signing recognition agreements, recruiting members accross all sectors, the impact of social media, producing stress surveys, distributing flyers, proposing legal services and planning activities in the country. Have a look to the video report (activate subtitles in English by pressing on CC) about…

Calling Turkish authorities to stop criminalising journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is backing the statement sent by its affiliates TGS, TGC and DISK Basin-Is calling the Turkish authorities to stop the criminalisation of journalists and media workers in Turkey. On 25/12/2016, the following journalists and media workers Tunca Öğreten (freelance), Mahir Kanaat (accountant for BirGün daily), Ömer Celik (DIHABER news director), Metin Yoksa (DIHABER correspondent) and Eray Saygin have been detained by police and no explanation has been provided for these arrests. “You cannot hide the truth by jailing journalists”, said Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) in a statement. DISK-Basin Is underlines the fact that…

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