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.

Activities

  • 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.

#EU4humanrights


Actions

Turkey: Zaman journalists and columnists heavily sentenced to prison

On July 06, 2018, six journalists and columnists have been heavily sentenced to prison by a court in Istanbul for alleged membership to an armed illegal terrorist organisation. The suspects were all working for the late Zaman daily newspaper banned by the Turkish authorities following the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016. “Our colleagues from Zaman newspaper did not take part to the coup attempt and have condemned it afterwards. Prosecuting workers solely on the basis of their work employment is not ruling based on facts but a politically motivated decision. The Turkish authorities must drop all the charges…

Turkey : Ali Ergin Demirhan is a journalist, he needs protection not prosecution

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today been alarmed by its Turkish affiliate DISK-Basin IS about the police operation that took place in Istanbul on June 28, 2018 against the offices of Sendika.org (Turkish online media portal specialised in labor issues) and targeting specifically our colleague journalist Ali Ergin Demirhan. He is a known figure as a former delegate during the last EFJ Annual Meeting in Lisbon in June 2018 and he went back to Turkey after a successful participation to the international conference. According to recent media reports, Ali Ergin Demirhan is charged for doing propaganda on behalf of an…

New project to reform Public Service Media in the Western Balkans kicked-off in Albania

One of the priorities in the Western Balkans is to transform Public Service Media from state media into a genuine service for citizens. To facilitate this reform the European Union invested 1.5 million EUR through the project “Technical Assistance to Public Service Media in the Western Balkans”, which has been promoted at a two-day kick-off conference in Tirana. The conference gathered around 60 participants including representatives of international organisations, PSM directors and senior officials, political decisionmakers and representatives of NGOs and broadcasting regulatory bodies from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Reminding of the negative assessments…

Photo exhibition: Journalists’ working conditions in Western Balkans and Turkey is not only about the danger

The life threatening conditions of journalists working in Western Balkans and Turkey is a part of everyday reporting, however, the struggle is not always about the danger, as noted by Renate Schroeder, director of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ). The opening remarks were made at the preview of the photo exhibition “Journalists’ working conditions in Western Balkans and Turkey” on the 12th of June 2018, at the Press Club Brussels. The photographs from local photographers and photojournalists depict the reality which tends to be kept behind the lenses of reporting – ranging from being on guard on the field…

Campaign to improve journalists working conditions in the Western Balkans and Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is today (08/05/2018) launching a video campaign to raise awareness about the poor working conditions of journalists and media workers in the Western Balkans and Turkey as documented by the European Commission’s Enlargement package 2018 published in April 2018. Together with the support of its affiliates in the region, the EFJ is putting the focus on Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey, where working as a journalist too often means job insecurity, low wages and attacks. This campaign aims to push for better working conditions in order to support the production…

Freedom of expression deteriorates in EU candidate countries, shows EU progress reports

The European Commission published on 17 April 2018 its annual Enlargement Package, including the country reports (formerly known as “progress reports”), assessing the implementation of the European Union’s enlargement policy regarding the accession process of the Western Balkans and Turkey. These country reports shows alarmingly precarious working conditions of journalists as the level of press freedom deteriorates further. In four countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia) no progress has been achieved in the area of press freedom. Issues of attacks on journalists, defamation cases media ownership, lack of funding of the public service broadcasters and self-censorship prevail. Some of…

Turkey: A trial where the ‘crime’ is journalism and the only ‘evidence’ is journalistic activities

Joint Statement on the Cumhuriyet trial: 28 media freedom and freedom of expression organisations call on the institutions of the Council of Europe and its member states to remind Turkey of its international obligation to respect and protect human rights. We, the undersigned freedom of expression and human rights organisations, strongly condemn last night’s guilty verdicts for staff and journalists of Cumhuriyet newspaper and note the harsh sentences for the defendants. The verdict further demonstrates that Turkey’s justice system and the rule of law is failing: this was a trial where the ‘crime’ was journalism and the only ‘evidence’ was…

Turkey: Cumhuriyet journalists and executives heavily convicted for changes in “editorial policy”

On Wednesday (25/05/2018), the court in Silivri (Turkey) severely convicted 13 journalists and executives from the opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet to jail sentences between two to eight years. The court is convinced that editorial policy changes adopted by the newspaper were aimed at helping multiple illegal terrorist organisations in Turkey. All the defendants have been released pending the confirmation of the jail sentences by the upper court. The judge also ordered the release of Cumhuriyet chairman Akin Atalay who had been in jail for 532 days until yesterday. “As we always say they cannot intimidate Cumhuriyet newspaper which will continue to…