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.



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…

EBU Conference urges Parliaments to protect PSM independence

Over 100 delegates from 19 countries in Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) and beyond came together in Prague last week to discuss the need to protect the independence and sustainability of public service media (PSM) in the face of numerous challenges. The conference was hosted by the Czech Parliament in Prague, and organized by the Council of Europe, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Czech Television and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). Public service broadcasters, Parliamentarians, regulators, diplomats, academics and experts from a range of organisations including the Council of Europe, Venice Commission, OSCE and the European Federation of…

Turkey: international coalition slams Cumhuriyet arrests, media closures

Today, the European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ and IFJ) joined a coalition of international media freedom organisations led by the International Press Institute (IPI), in condemning the closure of 15 pro-Kurdish media outlets and the arrests of Cumhuriyet journalists in a joint letter to Turkish officials. The letter called for government to cease abusing state of emergency decrees to restrict freedom of expression and for the immediate release of the detained Cumhuriyet journalists, as well as all other writers and journalists jailed in Turkey for exercising their right to freedom of expression. The letter can also be downloaded…

New wave of arrests targeting daily Cumhuriyet in Turkey

UPDATE 05.11.2016 – The Turkish court sent this morning 9 executives and columnists of Cumhuriyet newspaper to prison : Murat Sabuncu, Kadri Gürsel, Musa Kart, GürayÖz, Mustafa Kemal Güngör, Turhan Günay, Hakan Kara, Önder Çelik and Bülent Utku. All 9 @cumhuriyetgzt journos jailed in #Turkey We denounce these political decision with strong indignation #FreeTurkeyJournos #FreeKadri — Erol Önderoglu (@ErolOnderoglu) November 5, 2016 The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ/IFJ) today condemned the new wave of media repression by Turkish authorities following the detention of Murat Sabuncu, editor-in-chief of the newspaper Cumhuriyet, arrested this morning together with 15 other media staff of the newspaper. They are accused of assisting the so-called Fethullahist…

Turkish government shuts down 15 Kurdish media outlets

The Turkish government issued on Saturday 29 October a decree shutting down 15 Kurdish media outlets: 11 newspapers, two news agencies and three magazines. The latest closures bring the number of media outlets shut down under state of emergency in Turkey to 168. The Turkish government declared a state of emergency on 20 July, following the failed coup attempt on 15 July. This situation allows the government to close any media organization by issuing a cabinet decree. Here is the list of media outlets targeted by the decree issued on Saturday: Newspapers: Özgür Gündem, Azadiya Welat, Batman Çağdaş , Cizre Postası…

Turkey : 107 journalists in prison and 2,500 others left unemployed

After a break of two years, Turkey once again has become “world’s biggest journalist-prison” and ranked low in press freedom and transparency on international indices. The State of Emergency (OHAL) declared following the coup attempt on July 15, and the Statutory Decrees (KHK) issued within the State of Emergency have brought various unlawful and excessive practices like closures, detentions and arrests among members of the Gülen Community and the Kurdish Media. Click to see the infographic The Government has often been criticized for “becoming distant from its goals of democracy” and “using the State of Emergency to speed up its…