Question to Turkey: Why are these journalists detained without reason?

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) are strongly preoccupied by the ongoing detention without any official explanation of journalists and media workers Tunca Öğreten (freelance), Mahir Kanaat (accountant for BirGün daily), Ömer Celik (DIHA news director), Metin Yoksa (DIHA correspondent) Eray Saygin and Derya Okatan (ETHA) in Turkey. According to information received by the EFJ-IFJ, all of them have been detained by Turkish police operation on 25 December at 04:30 from their homes in Istanbul, Ankara and Diyarbakir. Derya Okatan  is on hunger strike against “state of emergency rulings” since 25 December and Ömer Celik  has been beaten during…

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…

Turkey: Organising journalists under the state of emergency

The regional meeting of EFJ-IFJ affiliates from the Balkans and Eastern Europe successfully took place in Istanbul on 29-30 November 2016. The meeting was hosted by the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) and the Istanbul office of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) who are financially supporting the event with the Swedish Union To Union global trade union programme. The gathering of more than 10 international journalists representatives showing solidarity under the state of emergency with so many journalists in jail (over 120), under prosecution (thousands), without job (over 10.000) was warmly welcomed by the colleagues and local media.   The event has primarily focused on…

EBU Conference urges Parliaments to protect PSM independence

Over 100 delegates from 19 countries in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) and beyond came together in Prague last week to discuss the need to protect the independence and sustainability of public service media (PSM) in the face of numerous challenges. The conference was hosted by the Czech Parliament in Prague, and organized by the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Czech Television and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Public service broadcasters, Parliamentarians, regulators, diplomats, academics and experts from a range of organisations including the Council of Europe, Venice Commission, OSCE and the European Federation of…

Turkey: international coalition slams Cumhuriyet arrests, media closures

Today, the European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) joined a coalition of international media freedom organisations led by the International Press Institute (IPI), in condemning the closure of 15 pro-Kurdish media outlets and the arrests of Cumhuriyet journalists in a joint letter to Turkish officials. The letter called for government to cease abusing state of emergency decrees to restrict freedom of expression and for the immediate release of the detained Cumhuriyet journalists, as well as all other writers and journalists jailed in Turkey for exercising their right to freedom of expression. The letter can also be downloaded…

New wave of arrests targeting daily Cumhuriyet in Turkey

UPDATE 05.11.2016 – The Turkish court sent this morning 9 executives and columnists of Cumhuriyet newspaper to prison : Murat Sabuncu, Kadri Gürsel, Musa Kart, GürayÖz, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Turhan Günay, Hakan Kara, Önder Çelik and Bülent Utku. All 9 @cumhuriyetgzt journos jailed in #Turkey We denounce these political decision with strong indignation #FreeTurkeyJournos #FreeKadri — Erol Önderoglu (@ErolOnderoglu) November 5, 2016 The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) today condemned the new wave of media repression by Turkish authorities following the detention of Murat Sabuncu, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Cumhuriyet, arrested this morning together with 15 other media staff of the newspaper. They are accused of assisting the so-called Fethullahist…

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 : 107 journalists in prison and 2,500 others left unemployed

After a break of two years, Turkey once again has become “world’s biggest journalist-prison” and ranked low in press freedom and transparency on international indices. The State of Emergency (OHAL) declared following the coup attempt on July 15, and the Statutory Decrees (KHK) issued within the State of Emergency have brought various unlawful and excessive practices like closures, detentions and arrests among members of the Gülen Community and the Kurdish Media. Click to see the infographic The Government has often been criticized for “becoming distant from its goals of democracy” and “using the State of Emergency to speed up its…

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: State of emergency provisions violate human rights and should be revoked

We, the undersigned organisations, recognise that the Turkish government has the right and responsibility to investigate the violent events of the July 2016 coup attempt and to bring all those responsible to justice.  We also recognise that the immediate aftermath of the attempted coup is the type of exceptional circumstance in which a government could legitimately invoke a state of emergency but still has to comply with their human rights obligations. We are however increasingly concerned that the far-reaching, almost unlimited discretionary powers exercised by the Turkish authorities during the first three months of the state of emergency – now…

EFJ Focus October 2016

The EFJ newsletter, EFJ Focus, is available in English and German.   EDITORIAL The situation for journalists in Turkey has worsened during this summer and after the coup attempt on July 15. Journalists were targeted during that day. One of them, Mustafa Cambaz, paid the highest prize with his life. After the coup attempt, journalists were detained, media outlets were shut down and fear were spreading. I made contact with Thorbjørn Jagland, the General Secretary of the Council of Europe, to call for an urgent meeting with partners of the Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists.…

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