Turkey : #JournalismIsNotaCrime

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#GazetecilikSuçDegildir /  #JournalismIsNotaCrime

Campaign to set journalism free, develop trade union rights and defend freedom of expression in Turkey

The overall objective is to promote and protect fundamental rights through enhancing the role of journalists in promoting democracy, good governance and public’s right to access information. Freedom of expression is an enabling right for other human rights. Freedom of expression through quality journalism enables the abuse of other human rights to be exposed and those responsible to be held accountable. Strengthening the position of journalists and their ability to perform their role in serving the public with informed independent critical journalism is the bedrock of democracy.

Specific objectives include:

• Improve journalists’ rights, safety and independence through a strengthened Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) that can protect professional and labour rights and improve conditions;
• End judicial harassment of journalists and the release of remaining jailed journalists.
• Improve coverage of equality and minority issues by media and improve treatment of minorities in media
At the heart of the specific objectives is the need to build a strong national journalists’ union that can protect and represent its members. A strong journalists’ union will promote the profession, promote the rights of its workers and the standards of journalism. It will engage employers, government and civil society on the need to protect quality, independent journalism as a lifeblood of society. It will unite the many different and diverse voices around the central principles of independent ethical journalism and the need to protect everyone’s right to contribute to it.


  • Work Package 1: Capacity building programme to audit, reform, equip and provide 3 leadership trainings of TGS staff, leaders and activists in Istanbul on union leadership, negotiating and campaigning
  • Work Package 2: 30 Recruitment activities at workplaces, 10 employer negotiations:
  • Work Package 3: Opening a new TGS branch /solidarity office in Diyarbakir
  • Work Package 4: 3 safety trainings for 60 journalists in South east Turkey on hostile environments, digital security, PTSD and first aid.
  • Work Package 5: Press Freedom, trial Monitoring and advocacy campaign with legal support co-ordinated nationally and internationally
  • Work Package 6: Journalists and unionists international advocacy and networking
  • Work Package 7: Women and LGBTI equality Commission campaign for equal treatment and improved reporting of equality issues.



Turkey: Joint call for journalist Mathias Depardon’s immediate release

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 wrote today to Turkish interior minister Süleyman Soylu requesting Depardon’s immediate release. Based in Turkey for the past five years, Depardon was arrested in the southeast of the country on 8 May while doing a report for National Geographic magazine. An order for his expulsion…

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…

Eutelsat puts pressure to remove Kurdish News Channel TV, Ronahi TV and Sterk TV

Eutelsat SA, the French satellite provider hosting over 6000 televisions channels, has notified on 14 April 2017 its intention “to remove” the signals of Channel News, Ronahi TV and Sterk TV, three Kurdish language television channel broadcasting from EU countries to Kurdish speaking audience in Turkey and Syria, from its transponder because “the content in which statements are made by the leaders of the terrorist organisation called as PKK/KCK”. According to EFJ sources, Eutelsat SA is acting under the pressure of RTÜK (Turkish Radio Television Supreme Council) to remove the EU-based Kurdish channels. In an urgent notice sent to the…

Judicial harassment against journalists in Turkey

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) are strongly concerned about the judicial harassment in Turkey against journalists and media workers detained for allegedly “being member” or “doing propaganda on behalf of an illegal organisation”. The EFJ-IFJ has received a detailed report about the critical situation of the young (27) female Turkish journalist and law student Aysenur Parildak, arrested for more than 9 months, released by court on 2nd of May 2017 and immediately re-arrested the same day with new charges related to the same facts (being correspondent for Zaman newspaper). Similarly mid-April 2017, 12 journalists (Gökçe Fırat Çulhaoğlu, Yakup Çetin, Bünyamin Köseli, Cihan…

Sharing practices to organise journalists in Turkey

The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) organised on 2nd of May 2017 a workshop for TGS trade unionists (Journalists Union of Turkey) in Istanbul with Tim Dawson (NUJ President) as the trainer. In the training, the NUJ example in the UK was discussed and TGS branch and national leaders debated various issues including collective bargaining, signing recognition agreements, recruiting members accross all sectors, the impact of social media, producing stress surveys, distributing flyers, proposing legal services and planning activities in the country. Have a look to the video report (activate subtitles in English by pressing on CC) about…

The Council of Europe’s Assembly voted to re-open monitoring procedure against Turkey

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) has today (25/04/2017) voted to re-open the monitoring procedure on the functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey. The re-opened exceptional procedure was closed in 2004. The adopted resolution notes that “with respect to freedom of the media and of expression, the Assembly is alarmed by the repeated violations of freedom of the media, the large number of journalists currently detained and the pressure exerted on critical journalists, which is unacceptable in a democratic society. Council of Europe member States have a positive obligation to ensure freedom of expression, protection of journalists and…

Joint Letter to Ms. Mogherini and Mr. Tusk regarding extension of Turkey’s state of emergency in a context of grave human rights violations

Ms Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission Mr Donald Tusk, President of the European Council cc: Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the European Union and EU ambassadors to Turkey 20 April 2016 Object: Extension of Turkey’s state of emergency in a context of grave human rights violations Dear HR/VP Federica Mogherini, Dear President Donald Tusk, EuroMed Rights, European Federation of Journalists, Front Line Defenders, Index on Censorship and World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) are deeply concerned by the Turkish government’s decision to extend the state of emergency…

Documentary and debate on freedom of expression and medias on Turkey, 26 April 2017, Brussels

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) in cooperation with EBU (European Broadcasting Union) would like to invite you on Wednesday 26 April 2017 to the screening of the documentary “Erdogan ou l’ivresse du pouvoir”. It will be followed by a debate: 17:45 – Welcoming: Jean-Paul Philippot, President EBU-UER 18:00 – Screening of the documentary (In French, with English subtitles) 19:00-20:00 – Discussion with : Gilles Cayatte,  journalist and co-author Guillaume Perrier,  journalist and co-author Rebecca Harms, Member of the European Parliament (Greens) Moderation : Mehmet Koksal, EFJ-FEJ 20:30 – drinks & snacks offered to participants Venue: Press Club Brussels Europe 95,…