Turkish court upheld prison sentences for 5 journalists

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) strongly condemn the confirmation of prison sentences for five journalists by the Third Penal Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice in Turkey. In the lawsuit filed against five journalists for participating in the Editors-in-Chief on Watch campaign that was launched in solidarity with Özgür Gündem, a Kurdish daily newspaper, which was subsequently banned per the Statutory Decree no. 675, the İstanbul 13th Heavy Penal Court gave its verdict for Ayşe Düzkan, Ragıp Duran, columnists of the newspaper Mehmet Ali Çelebi and Hüseyin Bektaş and its former Co-Editor-in-Chief Hüseyin Aykol on January…

Nine international organisations urge EU officials to raise Turkey’s freedom of expression crisis during EU-Turkey high political dialogue

To the attention of:  EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Ms Federica Mogherini,  EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Mr Johannes Hahn,  We, the undersigned organisations, urge the addressed European Union (EU) officials to discuss Turkey’s freedom of expression crisis and fractured rule of law during their high level political dialogue with the Turkish government on 22 November 2018.  More than 160 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey today, with hundreds more on trial for exercising their right to freedom of expression. In 2018, the World Press Freedom Index…

EFJ-IFJ launch a transitional solidarity fund for journalists in Turkey

Journalists in Turkey have in recent years faced unprecedented state crackdown. Despite the lifting in July 2018 of a two-year long state of emergency, the press continues to be stifled and journalists to face trials, job insecurity and abuse. Thousands of journalists have been sacked in recently years, particularly in the last two, with catastrophic impact on the victims and their families. To support journalists in need and their families, the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) have established a transitional solidarity fund for journalists in Turkey. This solidarity fund provides financial relief to prosecuted and sacked journalists. It…

Council of Europe: #EndImpunity for crimes against journalists

Today, marking the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’, the Safety of Journalists Platform launches a special page, which presents 16 cases of unsolved murders of journalists in the Council of Europe member states, as submitted by the partner organisations, including the European Federation of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists. These cases are listed on the platform as impunity for murders, highlighting deficiencies in investigations and failure to bring to justice all the perpetrators, the organisers or the masterminds of these crimes. The 16 cases are: Akhmednabi Akhmednabiyev (2013, Russian Federation); Mikhail Beketov (2013, Russian Federation); Hrant Dink (2007,…

Khashoggi case: EFJ-IFJ calls for an international independent investigation under the UN authority

The EFJ backs the IFJ call to “end the lies, cover-up and appeasement over killing of Jamal Khashoggi”. As more and more evidence emerges about the gruesome nature of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the IFJ-EFJ has called on the international community to stop appeasing the Saudi regime. Converging reports from Turkish and international media and video footage indicate that the journalist was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by Saudi hitmen, some with links to the government. Furthermore, Turkish investigators announced that the search of the consulate on Monday has brought more evidence that Mr Khashoggi was killed there.…

Turkish court upheld aggravated life sentences for journalists

On 2 October 2018, the Istanbul Court of appeal upheld aggravated life sentences of six suspects, including journalists, over terrorism charges. Nazlı Ilıcak, Ahmet Altan, Mehmet Altan, Fevzi Yazıcı, Yakup Şimşek and Şükrü Tuğrul Özşengül were convicted for attempting to overthrow the constitutional order, reported Anadolu Agency. All suspects were accused of being linked to FETÖ, the group which is widely believed by Turkish authorities to have orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016 that killed 250 people and injured nearly 2,200 others. The journalists had appealed to the high court for their release but the court of appeal upheld their sentence.…

Turkey: Austrian journalist Max Zirngast arrested in Ankara

UPDATE 24.09.2018: On 21 September, Max Zirngast has been formally arrested with the accusation of  being a member in the leftist TKP/Kıvılcım group, which Turkey has banned and considers a terrorist organization. Austrian journalist Max Zirngast has been detained together with two other Turkish citizens, in the early hours of 11 September by anti-terror authorities in his apartment in Ankara, Turkey. The reason for detention has not been published yet, but according to media reports, he could have been detained on charges of “support for a terrorist organization” and because of his “political publications”. Allegations might be related to his civil and political activism against…

Unsustainable and unfair future for staff at the Turkish Radio and Broadcasting (TRT)

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) – the largest organisation of journalists in Europe and in the World, representing over 600,000 journalists – backs Haber-Sen and UNI Global Union – media entertainment & arts in expressing their concern with the impact of the new regulations affecting the future of TRT (Turkish Radio and Broadcasting) and its staff. The EFJ-IFJ will meet Haber-Sen General Secretary, Mr Burak Ustaoglu, next week in Brussels to discuss the situation in details.  The joint declaration of Haber-Sen and UNI Global Union, supported by the EFJ, is the following : The Emergency Decree Law No. 703, which…

Turkey: Apply for the ECPMF Journalists-in-Residence Programme

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) offers practical solidarity to journalists resident in Turkey. It extends its Journalists-in-Residence programme to up to three more journalists from Turkey and is now accepting applications. The ECPMF considers its Journalists-in-Residence Programme to be a concrete and lasting contribution to the campaign for media freedom and pluralism in Europe. “Journalists staying with us have often been fighting for years to be able to work independently and without restrictions. They are long-established colleagues who often face massive threats in their home countries”, says Christian Schult, JiR programme co-ordinator at the ECPMF.  “The…

Cyprus: Journalists of “Afrika” to face charges in Turkey

Reporter and editor of a Cyprus daily newspaper “Afrika” Sener Levent and journalist Ali Osman have been informed by the local police officers in Northern Cyprus that a prosecution process has been launched against them in Ankara, Turkey, over criticism towards military actions of Turkey in Syria and the Turkish government. There are two cases filed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara against the journalists. The first one concerns a publication released in January 2018 criticising the military operation in Afrin led by Turkey, comparing it to Turkish occupation of Cyprus, to which the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan…

Ukraine: Turkish journalist under threat

A Ukraine-based Turkish journalist has told the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) he fears for his safety after his name appeared on an “abduction list” published by local media. The IFJ and EFJ have called on the Ukrainian authorities to take urgent action to protect Yunus Erdogdu, founder and owner of the first Turkish language news website in Ukraine, following the detention and deportation of another journalist earlier this month. On July 12, Turkish journalist Yusuf Inan was detained by Turkish intelligence services in Ukraine accused of being a member of the Gulenist movement which the authorities claim…

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