Incentivising media rights and plurality by supporting good practices in Western Balkans and Turkey

“How to improve the precarious state of journalism in South East Europe and Turkey” was the topic of a press conference held by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) on 14th November 2017 at the Press Club Brussels. The press conference took place in the framework of the EFJ project, Building Trust in Media in South East Europe and Turkey – a project supported financially by UNESCO and the European Union. Andris Kesteris, principal advisor at DG for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR) at the European Commission and Tarja Turtia, UNESCO Programme Specialist, attended the event to hear representatives of…

There can be no press freedom where journalists work in fear, end impunity!

Impunity is when threats, attacks and crimes against journalists go unpunished. It results in a high level of fear, intimidation, censorship and self-censorship that undermines press freedom, the public right to know and leaves victims and their relatives powerless. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins the International Federation of Journalists’ (IFJ) campaign to #endimpunity, which aims at holding governments and de facto governments accountable for their impunity records and denouncing any crimes targeting journalists that remain unpunished. Murder is the highest form of these crimes but all attacks targeting journalists that remain unpunished must be denounced. In Europe, the EFJ…

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,…

Journalist Hamza Yalçin has been released in Spain

Update (28.09.2017) – Hamza Yalçin has been released on 28/09/2017 by decision of Spain National High Court. “We are very pleased for our colleague, whose release we have been requesting since August 3rd,” said EFJ GS Ricardo Gutiérrez. “The Spanish Government has now to clarify that there is no basis to extradite Hamza Yalçin. There was simply no reason to arrest him: Interpol did not require his arrest.” Margot Wallström, Swedish minister for Foreign Affairs, said “I welcome the Spanish decision not to hand out Hamza Yalcin to Turkey. Hamza Yalcin is now free to travel and can return his family.Sweden…

Baltasar Garzon defending the arrested Swedish-Turkish journalist in Spain

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the decision of Baltasar Garzón, a former member of Spain’s National High Court (Audiencia Nacional) to take a pro bono defense of the Swedish-Turkish journalist Hamza Yalçin currently detained in Barcelona and pending extradition by an Interpol order issued by Turkey. The International Baltasar Garzón Foundation (Fibgar) represents Hamza Yalçin through the ILOCAD law firm, runned by the magistrate, who considers that the detention violates the journalist’s rights. Hamza Yalçin, 59, a journalist citizen of Sweden, is being held in custody in Spain after being arrested on 3 August at the Barcelona airport in compliance with an…

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…

Spain must release Swedish-Turkish journalist #HamzaYalçin!

UPDATE (24/08/2017):  Hamza Yalçin publishes letter in El Periodico criticising his arrest in Spain The International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) together with its affiliates in Spain and Sweden have strongly condemned the continued imprisonment of Swedish-Turkish journalist Hamza Yalçin by Spanish authorities since 3 August 2017. “It turns out that Tayyip Erdogan declared me a terrorist because I have written and spoken against him and he warned Interpol to capture me and deliver me. The Spanish authorities, therefore, detained me and imprisoned me. I would hope that the Government of Sweden, a country to which I came…

Belgian Ministers asked to help release French journalist Loup Bureau

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined an initiative launched by the journalism school attended by the French journalist Loup Bureau calling on the Vice Prime Minister and the Minster of Foreign Affairs to help free the arrested journalist in Turkey. Bureau’s fellow students at the Brussels School of Journalism and Communication (IHECS) together with the EFJ, the Professional Journalists’ Association of Belgian and other educational institutions  has written to the Belgian government today for their help to release Bureau. Bureau was arrested on Wednesday 2 August by the Turkish police following five days of detention in southeastern Sirnak…

French journalist Loup Bureau arrested in Turkey

UPDATE (15/09): Loup Bureau was released on 15 September 2017 after 51 days in custody. French journalist Loup Bureau was arrested on Wednesday 2 August by the Turkish police following five days of detention in southeastern Sirnak province on the Iraqi-Turkish border. He is detained on charges of “assisting a terror organisation”. Loup Bureau, 27, is a freelance journalist who worked for Arte, TV5 Monde, Slate. French news agency AFP reported that his charges are related to a report he had done in 2013 with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria – considered by Ankara as a terrorist organisation…

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…

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