Turkey : Set Journalism Free



> EU Progress Reports on Turkey 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011
> OSCE reports on Turkey
- Regular Report to the Permanent Council by Dunja Mijatović, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, for the period from 19 June 2014 through 26 November 2014
- OSCE FOM table on imprisoned journalists in Turkey - 10 March 2014
> CoE reports on Turkey
- The rule of law on the Internet and in the wider digital world. Issue Paper published by the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights
- 3rd quarterly activity report 2014 by Nils Muižnieks
> Bia Media Monitoring Reports :
Media’s 3 Years: A Summary With Graphics
October-December 2014
April-June 2014
> PEN International : Free expression under shadow
> IFJ reports : 2 journalists killed in Turkey in 2014
> CPJ reports : 40 imprisoned journalists in Turkey (2013) / 20 journalists killed in Turkey since 1992
> RSF Press Freedom Index 2014 : Turkey is ranked 149 out of 180 countries (between Mexico and DRCongo)
> Human Rights Watch : Turkey: Security Bill Undermines Rights
> Freedom House / Freedom of the Press 2014 : "The region’s largest numerical change occurred in Turkey, which declined from 56 to 62 points and moved from Partly Free to Not Free."
> Shorenstein Center (Harvard) / Corruption and Self-Censorship in
Turkish Journalism



EFJ and partners win Turkey’s Press Freedom Award

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and 9 other partner organisations have been on awarded on 19/08/2016 Turkey’s Press Freedom Award given by an independent jury under the auspice of the Turkish Association of Journalist (TGC). The prize wants to thank the international coalition for their involvement in emergency press freedom missions of 2015 in between the two elections in Turkey. Mr Kadri Gürsel, journalist and IPI’s Turkish National Committee chairman, received the prestigious prize on behalf of the international coalition. The EFJ warmly thanks the jury for this meaningful collective award and look forward to continue its work and…


Kurdish daily shut down and journalists houses raided in Turkey

Updated (19.08.2016): 22 journalists detained in Özgur Gündem raid have been released. Özgur Gündem is the latest opposition newspaper in Turkey to be forcibly shut down following the crackdown on media in the wake of a failed coup. A court in Istanbul ordered the closure of the pro-Kurdish newspaper on Tuesday for spreading alleged propaganda on behalf of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The move comes as Can Dündar, editor in chief of another opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, resigned from his position, claiming he would live abroad after having been condemned to 5 years in prison for allegedly divulging state secrets.…


Abusive behaviors and threats against Turkish journalists in detention

Evrensel journalists Hasan Akbaş, Fırat Topal and Serpil Berk, as well as Reuters’ correspnondent Sertaç Kayar have been recounting “the torture and threats” they faced after being arrested as the crackdown on media continues across Turkey. The European and International Federation of Journalists (FEJ/FIJ) has joined their affiliate DISK Basin-Is in demanding an end to the crackdown and respect for the rights of professional media workers. The four journalists were among the first on the scene following a bomb attack on 10 August in the Southeast Anatolian province of Diyarbakir. Deemed suspicious by the police for being in the vicinity of…

Turkey #1 (1)

Solidarity campaign with Turkish journalists: how to help

 The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) launched a solidarity campaign with the Turkish journalists following the new attacks on press freedom and human rights in Turkey since the coup attempt on 15 July. We invite EFJ/IFJ affiliates and partners to help the Turkish colleagues by: sending a letter to the Turkish ambassador in your country and/or your national government (sample letters enclosed) sending a contribution to the IFJ Safety Fund in order to support individual requests from Turkey (Bank account BE64 2100 7857 0052; Swift Code GEBABEBB; communication “Solidarity Turkey”) sharing in your social media and website the visual “Did you…


Journalists detained in Turkey since the coup attempt, 15 July

The EFJ and the IFJ listed 80 journalists and media workers/owners detained since the coup attempt (15 July) in Turkey: source: European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and affiliates list updated on: 23 August 2016 you can submit a new alert (arrest or release) HERE   İbrahim Balta (Zaman) Seyit Kılıç (former TRT) Bayram Kaya (Yeni Hayat) Cihan Acar (Bugün) Hanım Büşra Erdal (Zaman) Zeynel Abidin Bulut (Azadiya Welat) Zehra Dogan (JINHA) Sahin Alpay (former Zaman) Ali Bulaç (former Zaman) Mümtazer Türköne (former Zaman) Zafer Özsoy Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş (Cihan Medya Deputy Chair) Cuma Kaya (former Zaman) Murat Avcıoğlu (former Zaman) Şeref Yılmaz (Irmak TV) Hüseyin…

A man holds up a placard as people demonstrate in support of Turkish daily newspaper Zaman in front the headquarters in Istanbul on March 4, 2016.
An Istanbul court on Friday ordered into administration the Turkish daily newspaper Zaman  that is sharply critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, amid growing alarm over freedom of expression in the country.  / AFP PHOTO / OZAN KOSE

Turkey: EU must hold Turkish President accountable for press freedom violations

Updated 28.07.2016. As arrests of journalists and media closure continue, the European and the International Federation of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) call on the European Union to take additional steps to hold Turkish president Erdogan accountable for press freedom breaches.   Since the coup aimed at toppling President Erdogan failed on 16 July, the EFJ and IFJ have been alerting on the number of arrests of journalists and media closure for being allegedly  associated with the pro-Gülen movement accused of being behind the failed coup.   The situation came to a point where local media’s fear to be arrested is leading to an increasing…

Turkish journalists protested against the arrest of colleagues in Ankara on June 30, 2016.
The Turkey representative for Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has been released with conditions after he was detained 10 days ago on "terrorist propaganda" charges, the head of the media rights group said on June 3, 2016. RSF chief Christian Deloire confirmed the release of Erol Onderoglu to AFP, while local media said rights activist and academic Sebnem Korur Fincanci had also been freed. Journalist Ahmet Nesin could also be released shortly pending a judge's decision, according to the same sources. 

Turkey: press freedom in the grip of major crackdown following failed coup

UPDATED 27.07.16 An ongoing crackdown on the media in Turkey has led to the arrests of more journalists and raids on their homes. The International and the European Federation of journalists (IFJ/EFJ) today denounced the deterioration of democratic rule, of which press freedom is one of the pillars. On 22 July, Zehra Dogan, painter and editor at women’s news agency JINHA, was arrested by police in Mardin, south-east of Turkey. She was taken to the Nusaybin police office the following day. During the interrogation, she was accused of “being a member of the terrorist organisation PKK.” The anti-terror prosecutor Irfan…


Turkey: International community must take a strong stand against freedom violations

Attacks targeting the media in Turkey have led the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) to alert the Council of Europe about a series of new press freedom violations. The federations are calling on the International and European communities to take concrete steps against the Turkish government’s assaults on fundamental human rights that are contrary to international and European conventions. Mustafa Cambaz, a photojournalist for the Turkish Daily Yeni Safak was killed during the attempted coup in Turkey on 15 July. In the early hours of Saturday 16 July, Turkish soldiers who attempted to overthrow the government seized control…

Turkish solders stay with weapons at Taksim square as people protest against the military coup in Istanbul on July 16, 2016. 
Turkish military forces on July 16 opened fire on crowds gathered in Istanbul following a coup attempt, causing casualties, an AFP photographer said. The soldiers opened fire on grounds around the first bridge across the Bosphorus dividing Europe and Asia, said the photographer, who saw wounded people being taken to ambulances.


A photojournalist killed and media occupied in Turkey: press freedom was targeted

Mustafa Cambaz, photojournalist for the Turkish daily Yeni Safak was killed by soldiers during the attempt coup in Turkey, last night, in the Cengelkoy neighborhood of Istanbul. Soldiers took control of the state broadcaster TRT, the private broadcasters CNN-Turk and Kanal D, and the daily newspaper Hurriyet. In the Ankara studios of TRT, news anchor Tijen Karas was forced to read a statement at gunpoint. Several journalists were attacked during the clashes. In Istanbul, civilians protesting the coup beat Selçuk Şamiloğlu, a photojournalist for Hurriyet and the Associated Press. Following the attempted coup, the Information Technologies and Communications Authority (BTK, the…


Turkey: Charges against five journalists must be dropped

Charges of acquiring and divulging state secrets, membership of, and administration of a terrorist organisation brought against five journalists, including four former members of Taraf newspaper’s editorial and investigative staff, must be dropped and one of the accused, Mehmet Baransu, must be released immediately and unconditionally,the European Federation of Journalists,the International Federation of Journalists, PEN International, English PEN, German PEN, Swedish PEN, PEN America, Article 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists,, the Ethical Journalism Network, IFEX, Index on Censorship, Global Editors Network and Reporters Without Borders said in a joint statement today (14/07/2016). “These charges are a clear infringement of the…


I am a journalist campaign running in Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) supports the I am a journalist  #Bengazeteciyim campaign launched by journalists and media freedom advocates from Turkey.  European journalists stand in solidarity with their colleagues in Turkey who fiercely continue their job despite facing relentless attacks and attempts to silence them. The support is also extented to the 34 journalists and media workers in jail and to those facing arrest as retaliation for their exercise of their right to freedom of expression and freedom to inform. I am a journalist! Journalism is not a crime. In Turkey, oppression of the press is getting worse by the day.…


Arrest of 3 editor-in-chief in Turkey is unacceptable !

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) strongly condemn the arrestation of Şebnem Korur Fincancı (President of Turkey Human Rights Foundation), Erol Önderoğlu (journalist at Bianet and RSF Turkey correspondent) and Ahmet Nesin (journalist and author). The three editor-in-chief ad interim of the Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem have been arrested today (June 20) over “terror propaganda” because of their participation as temporary editor-in-chief to the production of the newspaper in the framework of a project called Editors in Chief on Watch coordinated by Özgür Gündem daily. The campaign launched on May 3 for the Unesco’s World Press Freedom Day has…


TGS wins European award for organising international solidarity

This year’s edition of the Silver Rose Awards took four highly prevailing political choices: Among the winners is the Journalists Union of Turkey (Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikasi, TGS), which supports jailed journalists and promotes solidarity between journalists in Turkey and abroad. TGS President Uğur Güç came to Brussels to receive the prize at the European Parliament. “It’s really a great honor for all of us in Turkey to receive this prize from SOLIDAR network and especially at the European Parliament in Brussels given the challenges we are facing to defend our freedoms and to fight for our rights against an oppressive system…


Winner of the 2016 SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards is the Journalist Union of Turkey (TGS)

In a world of rapid changing political and social circumstances, growing conflicts and inequalities, progressive politics to ensure social justice and global solidarity are more important than ever. The 2016 edition of the SOLIDAR Silver Rose Awards presents four courageous political choices with four awardees working on highly sensitive and late-breaking political issues: Press Freedom, Decent Work, Women’s Rights, Access to Education for All. This year’s winners are: Journalist Union of Turkey (Türkiye Gazeticiler Sendikasi, TGS), to which we dedicate the Silver Rose for Fundamental Rights. TGS supports jailed journalists and promotes solidarity between journalists in Turkey and abroad –…


A silent problem: 4 stories on the threat of (self-)censorship

Hungary It all started with a simple question. Janos Karpati, then Brussels correspondent for the Hungarian national newswire, didn’t think it would terminate his longtime career when he addressed the Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban at a press conference at the fringes of the European Parliament’s plenary meeting in Strasbourg. Orban had come to Strasbourg to speak about migration – and his widely-criticized comment on reinstating the death penalty. Karpati, an experienced correspondent who has worked in Prague and Washington, DC, asked Orban about Fidesz’ position within the European People’s Party, a question he hadn’t cleared with anyone beforehand. He…


Turkey must stop feeding its environment of fear for journalists and trade unionists

Update (25th May): Our Turkish colleague Erol Önderoglu is also under criminal investigation for “terrorist propaganda” for participating in a solidarity campaign with the Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem. The EFJ and IFJ demand that all criminal charges be dropped against journalists involved in this campaign. The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) is calling upon the presumptive upcoming Turkish Prime minister, Binali Yildirim, to end the climate of permanent judicial intimidation, threats, harassment, detention and physical assaults against journalists and media workers in Turkey. The EFJ is particularly underlining the fact that Turkish judicial authorities have recently opened an…


Press freedom must be a part of any agreement with Turkey

The European Federation of Journalist (EFJ) has strongly condemned the assassination attempt on 6 May in Istanbul against journalist Can Dündar (editor-in-chief of Cumhuriyet daily newspaper) and the jail sentences of 5 years and 10 months for Can Dündar and 5 years for Erdem Gül for procuring, revealing and publishing state secrets. Cumhuriyet published in May 2015 footage that show Turkey’s state intelligence agency ferrying weapons into Syria in 2014, the journalists have since been accused of revealing state secrets. “This new verdict is clearly unacceptable, in contradiction with Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruling and nobody can claim of a fair trial since the court decided to hold the trial behind closed…


EFJ and IFJ reject Turkish journalists’ two years sentence

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) have today condemned the sentencing of two prominent Turkish journalists to two years behind bars for illustrating their columns with a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed published by French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Journalists Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Çetinkaya, from the independent Cumhuriyet daily, were sentenced to two years each in jail by an Istanbul criminal court today. They went on trial in January last year on charges of “inciting public hatred” and “insulting religious values” after illustrating their columns with the controversial cartoon. Bulent Utku, lawyer for Hikmet Çetinkaya and…


Foreign press correspondents increasingly banned from Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today condemned the entry ban imposed by Turkish authorities against Russian journalist Tural Kerimov, the Turkey bureau chief for Sputnik news agency, who “was stopped by a border control officer who said the journalist was flagged as persona non grata by the Turkish authorities”. Turkish authorities seized Kerimov’s press card as well as his residence permit before sending him back to Russia. Russian Union of Journalists (RUJ, EFJ affiliate) has immediately condemned Kerimov being deported from Turkey. RUJ Secretary General and EFJ Vice-President, Nadezda Azhgikhina, made the following statement: “The rights of the…

(FILES) This combo made with file pictures shows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) in Lima on February 2, 2016 and German TV comedian Jan Böhmermann on February 22, 2012 in Berlin.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on April 15, 2016 authorised a Turkish demand for criminal proceedings against Boehmermann over a crude satirical poem about President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a bitter row over free speech. / AFP PHOTO / dpa AND AFP PHOTO / Britta PEDERSEN AND SEBASTIAN CASTAÑEDA / Germany OUT

Germany prosecutes a comedian on Turkey’s request

The DJV (Deutscher Journalisten-Verband) and Dju in ver.di (Deutsche Journalistinnen und Journalisten Union in ver.di) (EFJ affiliates in Germany) critised today (15/04/2016) the declaration of German Prime Minister Angela Merkel regarding the request of the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to file a criminal complaint against Germany’s most popular comedian Jan Böhmermann. “This decision of the Chancellor would not have been necessary because the Turkish President Erdogan has already filed a criminal complaint with the public prosecutor in Mainz” DJV Chairman Frank Überall said. Ms Merkel had previously announced that the German Federal Government would give an authorization to prosecute…


Scandalous Ban on Media at Turkey Media Trial

IFJ/EFJ  today condemned the decision to hold the trial of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül behind closed doors. All diplomats, journalists (including the IFJ and EFJ observers, Barry White and Mehmet Koksal), members of the public were evacuated from the court room. The ruling was made earlier today on the first day of the Dündar/Gül case charged with aiding a terrorist organisation, espionage and disclosure of classified documents, having reported on the supply of arms to Syrian fighters by the Turkish secret services. Gül and Dündar had previously been held for 92 days until the constitutional court set them free,…


Turkish journalists campaign for press freedom: sign the petition

The International and European Federations of Journalists joined today in Istanbul other media organisations in Istanbul for an international press conference in solidarity with Turkish journalists and media workers.One day before the hearing of Cumhuriyet journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, the organisations gathered to back the campaign to set free imprisoned journalists that has been launched by the Journalists Association of Turkey (TGC), Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS), Progressive Journalists Association (CGD), DISK-Basin Is trade union, Haber Sen trade union and the National Press Institute. The IFJ and the EFJ were represented by Barry White and Mehmet Koksal. The campaign…

A man holds up a placard as people demonstrate in support of Turkish daily newspaper Zaman in front the headquarters in Istanbul on March 4, 2016.
An Istanbul court on Friday ordered into administration the Turkish daily newspaper Zaman  that is sharply critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, amid growing alarm over freedom of expression in the country.  / AFP / OZAN KOSE

Turkey: Press conference tomorrow to support press freedom

On March 24, 2016 at 5:00 pm, a press conference in support for “freedom of information and freedom for journalists” in Turkey  will be held in the district of Cağaloğlu in Istanbul, where representative of national and international professional media organisations will gather together. The conference is the result of a joint ongoing campaign launched by the Journalists Association of Turkey (TGC), the Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS), the Progressive Journalists Association (CGD), DISK-Basin Is trade union, Haber Sen trade union and the Turkish national press institute to set imprisoned journalists free. International media organisations. including EFJ, IFJ, IPI, EJN,…


Letter: EU must not ignore collapse of media freedom in Turkey

Statement: EFJ/IFJ call to drop all the charges against journalist Füsun Erdogan Petition: Sign the petition for public’s right to access information in Turkey Action: EU leaders should react to the political seizure of Zaman media group London, 15 March 2016 The President of the European Council Donald Tusk General Secretariat of the Council of the European Union Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 175 B-1048 Bruxelles/Brussel Belgique/België CC: Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Stavros Lambrinidis, EU Special Representative for Human Rights Elmar Brok, Chair of the European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs…


EFJ/IFJ host press briefing demanding the EU to take action on Turkey

The European and International Federation of Journalists, (EFJ/IFJ), together with their affiliate Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS), demanded today the European Union’s leaders to react to the media oppression imposed by the Turkish authorities. The press briefing, organised by both Federations at the Press Club Brussels, followed the seizure of one of Turkey’s leading newspapers, Zaman, on 4 March in Istanbul, and had two of the newspaper’s leading journalists as participants. Today’s “When is the EU-Turkey summit on press freedom?” press briefing speakers were Sevgi Akarcesme, Editor of Today’s Zaman newspaper, Selçuk Gültasli, Zaman’s Brussels Bureau Chief, and Oliver Money-Kyrle, Assistant General…


EFJ/IFJ call to drop all the charges against journalist Füsun Erdogan

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) together with the Journalists Union of Turkey (Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikasi – TGS) sent today a letter to the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, asking to ensure all conditions for a fair and independent trial for journalists Füsun Erdogan, Ibrahim Cicek and Ziya Ulusoy. The judicial case of the three journalists will be on the agenda during the upcoming hearing of 23th of March of the Turkish court of appeal in Ankara.  Below the content of the letter sent to the minister : His Excellency Mevlüt…

Capture d’écran 2016-03-11 à 14.22.05

Turkey: Sign the petition for public’s right to access information

Journalist organizations have launched a campaign to call for releasing the journalists in prison and declare demands for ensuring freedom of press and expression with support from EFJ, IFJ, EJN and RSF. Journalists Association of Turkey (TGC), Journalists Trade Union of Turkey (TGS), Progressive Journalists Association (ÇGD), Confederation of Revolutionary Workers’ Unions of Turkey (DİSK) Press Unit and International Press Institute (IPI) Turkey has launched a campaign to call for releasing the journalists in prison and declaring their demands for ensuring freedom of press and expression with support from European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Ethical…

Turkish anti riot police try to disperse employees as they enter at Zaman Daily`s headquarters on March 5, 2016 in Istanbul. 
An Istanbul court on March 4, 2016 ordered into administration a Turkish Zaman daily newspaper that is sharply critical of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, amid growing alarm over freedom of expression in the country.  / AFP / Zaman Daily Newspaper / AKIF TALHA SERTTURK

EU leaders should react to the political seizure of Zaman media group

Update (05/03/2016): Turkish police have raided the offices of Zaman, the country’s biggest newspaper, late on Friday, in Istanbul, hours after a court ruling placed it under state control. Another blow to free speech in #Turkey: #Zaman takeover is nothing but a veiled move to eradicate opposition media pic.twitter.com/fJM0QZ4EJc — Lotte Leicht (@LotteLeicht1) March 5, 2016 ——————— The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) are closely following and with great concerns the ongoing media crackdown against Zaman media group in Turkey. On March 4, according to local media reports, an İstanbul court has appointed trustees…


Two arrested journalists released in Turkey after 92 days

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) warmly welcomed today Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruling on February 25 stating that the rights of Cumhuriyet newspaper journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül have been violated and underlining the lack of justification to jail them following the publication of several articles. The ruling refers to the violations of Article 19 (“right to personal liberty and security”), Article 26 (freedom of expression) and Article 28 (press freedom) of Turkey’s Constitution. Dündar and Gül were arrested on 26 November 2015 after the newspaper’s reporting and footage of the content of trucks belonging to the National Intelligence Agency.…


Turkish journalist Füsun Erdogan visits the EFJ/IFJ offices

Turkish journalist Füsun Erdoğan visited the IFJ/EFJ offices today to share the latest developments of her trial to be set in Ankara, Tukey’s capital on 23 March. On 2 November 2013, Füsun Erdogan was given a life sentence and charged with being a member of an alleged terrorist organisation. Her trial in the appeal court will take place on 23 March. The IFJ and the EFJ will ask the Turkish government to ensure a fair trial and set the journalist free. Founder of the radio station Özgür Radyo (Radio Free), Erdogan has often defended political, religious and ethnic minorities. On…

International Conference 17-18 September 2015

In cooperation with the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS), the International and European Federation of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) are organising a major conference on 17-18 September 2015 in Istanbul on Press Freedom and Labour Rights in Turkey. This International event, supported by the European Commission, will be an important opportunity to support journalists in Turkey (including jailed journalists), strengthen the position of the journalists' trade union and invite national and international NGO's to share their experiences on how to improve press freedom, freedom of expression on social media and protect workers' rights in the media industry. Crucially, the timing of the conference will enable participants to set out a new campaign strategy for media reform for the new political climate following the June parliamentary elections. See the draft programme and contact us for registration.

International Conference

Financially supported by

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights


This project is being implemented by the following organisations





Mehmet Koksal mehmet@europeanjournalists.org www.europeanjournalists.org GPG key ID : 00B4765D


The Set Journalism Free in Turkey campaign is part of the Campaign to decriminalise Turkish Journalism , to free speech and protect work place rights project which receives the financial support of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) Program managed by the European Commission. All responsibilities regarding the contents and the actions belong to the authors only and should not be considered as reflecting the views of the European Union.

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