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.



CoE Memorandum on media freedom calls Turkey to lift the state of emergency

“There is an urgent need to restore freedom of expression and media freedom in Turkey. The closure of more than 150 media organisations since the coup attempt and the continuous detention of around 150 journalists had the huge chilling effect on the state of fundamental rights in Turkey”, said Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muižnieks who published today (15/02/2017) a detailed Memorandum on freedom of expression and media freedom in Turkey based on the findings of two visits to the country in April and September 2016. In a interview with the EFJ, the Commissioner insisted that the…

Turkey’s RTÜK becomes a permanent censorship institution

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today backed its affiliate Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) in condemning new restrictions imposed on broadcasters by governmental decrees number 680 published on 06/02/2017. The Executive Board of the Turkish Journalists Association (TGC) announced that the restrictions imposed on broadcasting by Radio and Television Authority (RTUK) officials represents a direct intervention to the profession of journalism and aims at making censorship as a permanent institution. “The legislative decree has made amendments to the law that regulates Radio and television broadcasts in Turkey. According to these amendments, the broadcasts of any radio or television outlet…

12 journalists died reporting in 2016 in Europe, says IFJ

At the end of each year, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) publishes a list of all the journalists and media professionals killed in the course of their work over the previous 12 months. As part of its ongoing commitment to tackle impunity and campaign for greater safety for journalists, the IFJ is publishing The story behind the killings – a in-depth analysis of each region with an explanation of the victims and circumstances of each death. The report lists details of 93 media professionals killed in work-related incidents such as targeted murders, bomb attacks and crossfire incidents last year, a…

The CoE adopted resolution on attacks against journalists

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on Tuesday discussed the rising levels of violence against journalists, particularly in Turkey, Russia and Azerbaijan. Ukrainian MP Volodymyr Ariev (EPP/CD), pictured above, presented the report, where he drew attention to the death of 16 journalists and the arrest of 150 media employees since January 2015 in member States. Mr. Ariev spoke about the deterioration of media freedom in Turkey and called for “release from detention all journalists who have not been indicted for actively participating in terrorist acts”. He also raised concerns on the media situation in Crimea and eastern parts of Ukraine.…

Question to Turkey: Why are these journalists detained without reason?

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) are strongly preoccupied by the ongoing detention without any official explanation of journalists and media workers Tunca Öğreten (freelance), Mahir Kanaat (accountant for BirGün daily), Ömer Celik (DIHA news director), Metin Yoksa (DIHA correspondent) Eray Saygin and Derya Okatan (ETHA) in Turkey. According to information received by the EFJ-IFJ, all of them have been detained by Turkish police operation on 25 December at 04:30 from their homes in Istanbul, Ankara and Diyarbakir. Derya Okatan  is on hunger strike against “state of emergency rulings” since 25 December and Ömer Celik  has been beaten during…

Calling Turkish authorities to stop criminalising journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is backing the statement sent by its affiliates TGS, TGC and DISK Basin-Is calling the Turkish authorities to stop the criminalisation of journalists and media workers in Turkey. On 25/12/2016, the following journalists and media workers Tunca Öğreten (freelance), Mahir Kanaat (accountant for BirGün daily), Ömer Celik (DIHABER news director), Metin Yoksa (DIHABER correspondent) and Eray Saygin have been detained by police and no explanation has been provided for these arrests. “You cannot hide the truth by jailing journalists”, said Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) in a statement. DISK-Basin Is underlines the fact that…

Turkey: Organising journalists under the state of emergency

The regional meeting of EFJ-IFJ affiliates from the Balkans and Eastern Europe successfully took place in Istanbul on 29-30 November 2016. The meeting was hosted by the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS) and the Istanbul office of the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) who are financially supporting the event with the Swedish Union To Union global trade union programme. The gathering of more than 10 international journalists representatives showing solidarity under the state of emergency with so many journalists in jail (over 120), under prosecution (thousands), without job (over 10.000) was warmly welcomed by the colleagues and local media.   The event has primarily focused on…

The Greens/EFA Roundtable Discussion: Turkish Journalists in the State of emergency

12h00 Introduction by MEP Rebecca Harms, Co-president of the Greens/EFA Group 12h15 – 12h45 Presentation of the cases of imprisoned journalists and writers – The solidarity campaign: Andrew Finkel and Veysel Ok 13h00 – 14h00 Discussion and Q&A: What can be done to support the imprisoned? How can we strengthen the solidarity campaign Interpretation English-Turkish If you need access to the European Parliament, please register with your name, date of birth, ID/passport number and nationality at rebecca.harms@ep.europa.eu P24 (the Platform for Independent Journalism in Turkey) was founded three years ago to promote press integrity and quality journalism in a country…