Spain must release Swedish-Turkish journalist #HamzaYalçin!

The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) together with its affiliates in Spain and in Sweden have strongly condemned the arrest of Swedish-Turkish journalist Hamza Yalçin by Spanish authorities. The arrest occurred last week in Barcelona following an international warrant issued by Turkey through Interpol over alleged terrorist plots. The EFJ/IFJ urges the Spanish authorities not to hand Hamza Yalçin over to the Turkish authorities as the safety of the journalist and the judicial independence of a trial would not be guaranteed for him in Turkey, where around 160 journalists remain behind bars, according to IFJ/EFJ statistics. According to…

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

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 – which was broadcasted on TV5 Monde. According to Le Monde, Bureau wanted to report…

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…

Turkey: Press freedom on trial

The EFJ is closely following the proceedings that started on Monday 24 July in Istanbul against 17 prominent journalists, editors and board members of Cumhuriyet newspaper, including Can Dündar, Kadri Gürsel, Murat Sabuncu and Ahmet Şık. EFJ president Mogens Blicher Bjerregård participated in the court case on 24-25 July and met several journalists and EFJ affiliates. Below a personal account of his impressions: Press freedom must be protected, and not put on trial as it has happened this week in Istanbul with the Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet. 17 journalists and executives are accused in a completely political and fabricated way for…

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…

Cumhuriyet trial in Turkey: background and resources

Representatives from international free expression groups and professional organisations gathered in Istanbul on July 24 to monitor the trial of 17 journalists and executives from the newspaper Cumhuriyet on accusations that its reporting lent support to terrorists. Prosecutors are demanding prison terms of up to 43 years for the defendants on charges that include “helping an armed terrorist organization while not being a member” and “employment-related abuse of trust”. They argue that the newspaper has acted since 2013 as “defender and protector” of the movement led by U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen – whom Turkey’s government blames for the failed July 2016…

Cumhuriyet trial

The trial of 17 journalists from daily newspaper Cumhuriyet will begin on 24 July 2017 and is expected to run until 28 July, in Istanbul.

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…

EU Parliament urges Turkey to release arrested journalists immediately

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the resolution of the European Parliament calling for the immediate release of arrested journalists in Turkey. The European Parliament called on Thursday for Turkey’s European Union accession talks to be suspended if Ankara fully implements plans to expand President Erdogan‘s powers. The resolution passed by parliament in Strasbourg (477 in favour, 64 against and 97 abstentions) “calls on the Commission and the member states… to formally suspend the accession negotiations with Turkey without delay if the constitutional reform package is implemented unchanged.” The European Parliament reminds its previous resolution on the situation of journalists…

Statement regarding the situation of media freedom in Turkey

Following the specific request of the delegates at the Annual Meeting held in Bucharest on 18-19 May 2017 asking for a strong position of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Steering Committee issued the following statement regarding the situation of media freedom in Turkey : The EFJ, fighting in cooperation with the IFJ and all its affiliates, welcomes the “send a postcard to jailed journalists in Turkey campaign” in the framework of its #JournalismisNOTacrime / #Gazeteciliksuçdegildir project inviting everyone to send written moral support to journalists and media workers in jail. 165 journalists are still in jail according to…

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