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…

Turkey: first criminal trial against journalists over attempted coup

The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ) yesterday sent an observer to Istanbul to monitor the first trial against journalists accused of participating in the 15 failed coup of last July. The trial, which may shed light on how the courts will approach numerous cases concerning the right to freedom of expression and the right to a fair trial under the state of emergency, has amplified international concerns over press freedom in Turkey. Raffaele Lorusso, General Secretary of the affiliate Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana (FNSI) and an IFJ Executive Committee member, yesterday attended the trial of…

Send a postcard to jailed journalists in Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikasi (TGS) have printed postcard with the names of the 158 journalists and media workers currently jailed in Turkey forming the letter G for #Gazeteciliksuçdegildir or #Journalismisnotacrime and they invite you to send a moral support to all the journalists and media workers in jail. How to do it? Get in touch with the union or professional association in your country and ask them to send you the specific postcard or simply print a PDF version available here. You can also use the PSD files…

Urgent medical care needed for jailed Turkish journalist Tuncer Çetinkaya

Tuncer Çetinkaya, a journalist and former regional representative of Zaman newspaper in Antalya, has been detained for 11 months in Turkey and is now held in Antalya prison. He urgently needs medical care. According to his relatives who contacted the IFJ-EFJ, Tuncer Çetinkaya is seriously ill and suffers from autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) which requires regular and specific treatment. His daughter reports that during his first three months in jail,  Çetinkaya was not allowed to use his drugs or see a doctor. His health situation has steadily worsened and he has already lost 54% of his kidney. He also lost a lot of…

Turkey: Mathias Depardon released and deported after 32 days in captivity

UPDATE : Mathias Depardon has been released and deported from Turkey on 9 June 2017 after 32 days of captivity. The gathering in Brussels on Monday 12 at 5 pm (Place Luxembourg) is maintained for asking the release of all journalists in jail.   — A joint call for French freelance photographer Mathias Depardon’s release by the Turkish authorities had been made by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), two other press freedom groups and 19 news organizations for which he has worked. Depardon, 37, has been detained arbitrarily for the past eleven days in Turkey. EFJ and the 21 organizations…

Creation of the Belgian support committee for Mathias Depardon

On 1 June 2017 in Brussels, after 24 hours of detention and 3,818 kilometres from Gaziantep, the family and friends of Mathias Depardon, the French journalist imprisoned in Turkey, came together to form a Belgian support committee. Mathias Depardon lived in Brussels for around ten years and completed his journalistic and photography studies there. The Belgian committee welcomed the interview that took place on 25 May between the French President Emmanuel Macron and the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which is regarded as a first step in the right direction. Further to this meeting, an initial consular visit took place…

Oguz Güven, Cumhuriyet online editor-in-chief, arrested for a temporary tweet

On 16 May 2017, the EFJ-IFJ and partner organisations submitted the following alert to the Council of Europe’s platform for the safety and protection of journalists : On 12 May 2017, Oğuz Güven, editor-in-chief of the online edition of the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, was detained as part of a criminal investigation led by the Bureau of Press Offences of the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul. On 15 May, Güven appeared before a judge, who ordered that he be held in pre-trial detention, on “propaganda for a terrorist organisation” and “defamation against a person’s memory” charges. Both charges against the…