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.



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,…

Turkey: Court acquits 12 journalists in OdaTV case after six-year trial

The European and International Federation of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) welcome the acquittal of all defendants in the Oda TV case, including Ahmet Şık and 11 other journalists, charged with terrorism, incitement, and obtaining secret documents. On 12 April 2017, after a six-year trial, the Istanbul’s 18th Court for Serious Crimes found that prosecutors had failed to provide enough evidence to convict journalists Ahmet Şık, Soner Yalçın, Barış Pehlivan, Barış Terkoğlu, Ayhan Bozkurt, Nedim Şener, Müyesser Yıldız, Doğan Yurdakul, Coşkun Musluk, Sait Çakır, Yalçın Küçük, İklim Bayraktar and former police chief Hanefi Avcı. Following the acquittal, Ahmet Şık – who is currently…

The FNSI called for the release of Italian journalist Gabriele Del Grande

UPDATE (24.04.2017). Italian journalist Gabriele Del Grande has been released in Turkey. ————- The Italian affiliate of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Federazione nazionale della stampa italiana (FNSI), gathered in Rome on Tuesday 11 April to call for the release of Gabriele Del Grande, an Italian journalist arrested by the Turkish authorities at the border with Syria. “We hope his swift release and immediate return to Italy, while we thank the Italian diplomatic authorities, which is closely following the case”, said the General Secretary and the President of the FNSI, Raffaele Lorusso and Giuseppe Giulietti. Gabriele Del Grande…

UNHRC: 70 NGOs on the continuous deterioration of media freedom in Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has joined the oral statement delivered today (15/03/2017) by PEN International at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to demand the immediate release all those held in prison for exercising their rights to freedom of opinion and expression and to end the prosecutions and detention of journalists simply on the basis of the content of their journalism or alleged affiliations The full statement says : JOINT ORAL STATEMENT ON THE DETERIORATION OF FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AND MEDIA FREEDOM IN TURKEY UN Human Rights Council 34th Special Session Item 4: Human rights situations that…