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’…

International civil society organisations condemn crackdown on freedom of expression in Turkey

From 31 August to 2 September, an international delegation of civil society organisations visited Istanbul to demonstrate solidarity with writers, journalists and media outlets in Turkey. The failed coup of 15 July, in which at least 265 people were killed, has traumatised the Turkish population and the government must bring those responsible for the violence to account. However, this must be done on the basis of specific, individual evidence of involvement in a crime and with full respect for international standards on the right to freedom of expression, the right to liberty and security and the right to a fair…

Turkey: Evrensel journalists must be released immediately

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is backing the urgent call of his affiliates in Turkey (TGS & TGC) demanding the immediate release of Turkish journalists Cemil Ugur and Halil Ibrahim Polat detained since end-August 2016 at the province of Mersin (Turkey) while reporting for the daily newspaper Evrensel.   According to their lawyer, both journalists still in detention under the state of emergency “are exposed to insults and threats in prison” and the local police refuse to give further details about their situation. The EFJ and its affiliates are strongly concerned about the situation of journalists, the length of their detention and the alleged threats…

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…

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…

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.…

Arrest of 3 editor-in-chief in Turkey is unacceptable !

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) strongly condemn the arrestation of Şebnem Korur Fincancı (President of Turkey Human Rights Foundation), Erol Önderoğlu (journalist at Bianet and RSF Turkey correspondent) and Ahmet Nesin (journalist and author). The three editor-in-chief ad interim of the Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem have been arrested today (June 20) over “terror propaganda” because of their participation as temporary editor-in-chief to the production of the newspaper in the framework of a project called Editors in Chief on Watch coordinated by Özgür Gündem daily. The campaign launched on May 3 for the Unesco’s World Press Freedom Day has…

TGS wins European award for organising international solidarity

This year’s edition of the Silver Rose Awards took four highly prevailing political choices: Among the winners is the Journalists Union of Turkey (Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikasi, TGS), which supports jailed journalists and promotes solidarity between journalists in Turkey and abroad. TGS President Uğur Güç came to Brussels to receive the prize at the European Parliament. “It’s really a great honor for all of us in Turkey to receive this prize from SOLIDAR network and especially at the European Parliament in Brussels given the challenges we are facing to defend our freedoms and to fight for our rights against an oppressive system…

Winner of the 2016 SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards is the Journalist Union of Turkey (TGS)

In a world of rapid changing political and social circumstances, growing conflicts and inequalities, progressive politics to ensure social justice and global solidarity are more important than ever. The 2016 edition of the SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards presents four courageous political choices with four awardees working on highly sensitive and late-breaking political issues: Press Freedom, Decent Work, Women’s Rights, Access to Education for All. This year’s winners are: Journalist Union of Turkey (Türkiye Gazeticiler Sendikasi, TGS), to which we dedicate the Silver Rose for Fundamental Rights. TGS supports jailed journalists and promotes solidarity between journalists in Turkey and abroad –…

A silent problem: 4 stories on the threat of (self-)censorship

Hungary It all started with a simple question. Janos Karpati, then Brussels correspondent for the Hungarian national newswire, didn’t think it would terminate his longtime career when he addressed the Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban at a press conference at the fringes of the European Parliament’s plenary meeting in Strasbourg. Orban had come to Strasbourg to speak about migration – and his widely-criticized comment on reinstating the death penalty. Karpati, an experienced correspondent who has worked in Prague and Washington, DC, asked Orban about Fidesz’ position within the European People’s Party, a question he hadn’t cleared with anyone beforehand. He…

Turkey must stop feeding its environment of fear for journalists and trade unionists

Update (25th May): Our Turkish colleague Erol Önderoglu is also under criminal investigation for “terrorist propaganda” for participating in a solidarity campaign with the Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem. The EFJ and IFJ demand that all criminal charges be dropped against journalists involved in this campaign. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) is calling upon the presumptive upcoming Turkish Prime minister, Binali Yildirim, to end the climate of permanent judicial intimidation, threats, harassment, detention and physical assaults against journalists and media workers in Turkey. The EFJ is particularly underlining the fact that Turkish judicial authorities have recently opened an…