In the aftermath of the coup attempt in Turkey in July 2016, the government declared a state of emergency and intensified its purge on the media. Almost one year later over 180 media outlets – including television and radio channels, newspapers, press agencies, publishing houses and websites – have been shut down and more than 150 journalists have been jailed. Several thousand media workers have lost their jobs and hundreds their press credentials. Though media freedom in Turkey has been steadily declining throughout the last decade, it deteriorated radically in the wake of the coup attempt. The printed press was particularly affected by this severe crackdown on civil liberties and freedom of expression. Restrictions reached a new level ahead of the April 2017 referendum, in which a narrow majority in Turkey voted for a new presidential system championed by president Erdogan and the ruling AKP party. Against this backdrop, we will be discussing the stifling of press freedoms in Turkey with experts from the country, media outlets and journalists’ unions. We will also address the question of how to re-establish media freedoms in the country, and how unions and the EU can contribute to Turkey’s struggle for freedom of expression.
10:30 Welcome by Marco Schwarz, Policy Officer, FES EU Office
Miltiadis Kyrkos, MEP, Vice-Chair of the Delegation to the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee
Renate Schroeder, Director, European Federation of Journalists
Kemal Göktaş, Journalist, Cumhuriyet Newspaper
Mustafa Kuleli, Board Member, Journalist’s Union of Turkey
Ceren Sözeri, Columnist, Evrensel Newspaper, Assoc. Prof. Galatasaray Uni.
Moderation: Mehmet Koksal, Project Officer, European Federation of
11:30 Q & A
12:30 End of event & light lunch