Organising Turkey’s human rights based journalism fit for the digital age

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#TurkeyOrganisingHRJournalism

Lead : International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
Co-applicants : European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and Türkiye Gazeteciler Sendikasi (TGS)
Location of the action : Turkey
Duration : 36 months

The objective of the project is to promote and protect fundamental rights through enhancing the role of journalist in promoting democracy and good governance and the public’s right to access information.

The specific objectives are :

  • to improve working conditions through raised public awareness of worker social and labour rights among journalists and media workers
  • to provide solidarity to post coup journalists persecuted for their work and now prosecuted or unemployed by media closures
  • to train journalists on human rights and professional journalism for the digital media to counter the post truth culture

The target groups are non-unionised journalists and media workers, prosecuted and sacked journalists under state of emergency, mid-career journalists needing to adapt to the new online work practices and digital start-up entrepreneurs.

Activities :

  • Work Package 1 : Social and labour rights campaign in 20 regions in Turkey
  • Work Package 2 : Solidarity Fund for journalists in need including legal and humanitarian support for families of targeted journalists
  • Work Package 3 Training of trainers for journalism academy trainers
  • Work Package 4 : TGS Academy training programme for journalists with necessary skills for a digital media landscape
  • Work Package 5 : Financial support for digital media start-ups through sub-granting programme

 

 


Actions

Turkey: Six journalists and media workers sentenced to life over coup attempt

A Turkish court jailed on Friday 15 February three journalists, Mehmet (65) and Ahmet (67) Altan as well as Nazli Illicak (73) for life over allegations of involvement in the 2016 coup attempt. A similar punishment was handed to three other suspects: Zaman newspaper marketing manager Yakup Simsek, police academy instructor Sukru Tugrul Ozsengul and Zaman layout designer Fevzi Yazici. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is appalled by this verdict which confirms Turkey’s disregard for rule of law. The Altan brothers and Nazli Ilicak were detained since September 2016 on charges including “attempting to overthrow the Turkish Grand National Assembly”,…

European Parliament resolution on the current human rights situation in Turkey

During the European Parliament plenary session (5-8 February 2018) in Strasbourg, MEPs voted a resolution on the current human rights situation in Turkey. The European Federation of Journalists welcomes the references to the fate of imprisoned journalists, to the specific cases of Deniz Yücel, Ayla Albayrak, Mehmet Altan, Sahin Alpay and Ahmet Sik, to the indictments of signatories of Academics for Peace, to the misuse of the state of emergency to silence dissent, to the chilling effect of the pressure on social media users expressing criticism against the military operation in Afrin. The full text of the resolution as adopted…

European Union pressuring Turkey to release jailed journalists

The European Union and Turkey will see no progress in their relations as long as Turkey holds journalists in prison, the president of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker said on Friday (12/01/2018) at a news conference in Bulgaria. The president of the European Commission made this comment following the news that a Criminal Court in Istanbul defied the Turkish Constitutional Court’s decision ruling that the journalists’ rights had been violated and subsequently to release imprisoned journalists Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay.   “Turkey is moving away from its European ambitions of the past and we are going to have to see…

Turkey: implement Constitutional Court decision to free journalists

A High Criminal Court of Istanbul has defied a Constitutional Court’s ruling that the rights of journalists Mehmet Altan and Sahin Alpay to liberty and freedom of expression have been violated and the two journalists should be released from custody. The lower court said the judgment was a “usurpation of authority” and therefore could not be accepted. Initially, the lower courts impacted by the ruling said the detentions would be reviewed after the top court’s reasoned decisions were formally communicated. In turn, the Turkish Constitutional Court then released its judgments and posted notes on social media saying that they are…

Turkey: Four Cumhuriyet journalists ordered to remain in prison

At a hearing on 25 December 2017, a Turkish judge ordered four journalists and senior staff from the newspaper Cumhuriyet to remain in prison for at least two more months during their trial. The newspaper’s editor-in-chief Murat Sabuncu, attorney Akin Atalay, correspondent Ahmet Şık and accountant Emre Iper, are charged with supporting through their coverage three outlawed groups: The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party-Front (DHKP-C), and the Gülen network. They face up to 43 years in prison if convicted. The newspaper and staff have denied the charges, and argue that they are being targeted to silence…

Omar Aourtilane Prize in solidarity with journalists in Turkey

The Algerian Arabic-language daily El Khabar has decided to award this year its prestigious Omar Aourtilane International Prize for Press Freedom to the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS, an EFJ-IFJ affiliate) in solidarity with imprisoned and prosecuted journalists in Turkey for their journalistic activities. The eighteenth edition of the ceremony was held in Algiers on December 7, 2017 at the headquarters of the KBC television channel, owned by the Algerian private group El Khabar, in the presence of journalist Zoubir Souissi who chaired the jury assisted by journalist Kaddour Hamlaoui (France 3) and Zakia Aourtilane , Secretary General of this prize. “The…

Joint Statement on Turkey to the European Union

PEN International, PEN Belgium/Flanders, the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Article 19, the Association of European Journalists (AEJ), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Global Editors Network (GEN), Index on Censorship, the International Press Institute (IPI), American PEN, Danish PEN, English PEN, Norwegian PEN, Wales PEN Cymru, Reporters without Borders (RSF), and the South East Europe Media Organization (SEEMO), welcome the opportunity to deliver this statement :  Working collectively, both jointly and separately, we have an established body of work on freedom of expression in Turkey, in part predating the…

EU should push Turkey to reform the judiciary and the rule of law

Turkey: How the EU Can Support Press Freedom ? was the subject of discussion at the European Parliament on 6 December 2017, where three journalists from Turkey spoke about press freedom in the country and how the European Union can help to tackle the situation. The event was organised by the International Press Institute (IPI) in partnership with the European Foundation for Democracy (EFD) and supported by the Consulate General of Sweden in Istanbul. As more and more journalists are being imprisoned, the support is needed and it has been clearly voiced by the Greek Member of the European Parliament (MEP) from the Progressive…