Turkey: Two journalists issued with travel bans following reporting
The Ankara 22nd Heavy Penal Court handed travel bans to Faruk Eren, President of the DİSK Basın-İş Union, and editor of the Gerçek Gündem news portal Furkan Karabay on 7 September 2023. The European and International Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) join their affiliate the Turkish Press and Printing Employees Union (DİSK BASIN-İŞ) in condemning these actions against journalists that infringe their rights and damage media freedom.
Constitutional Court member Judge İrfan Fidan filed a complaint against the two journalists regarding an article published in the Gerçek Gündem news portal. The article reflected on the many controversies surrounding the 2021 appointment of Fidan to the Constitutional Court by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The journalists were then charged with accusations of “targeting counterterrorism officials for terrorist organizations”.
A request for a prison sentence of up to three years has now been issued by Ankara’s Chief Public Prosecutor. The Penal Court has accepted the indictment and the first hearing will be held on 7 November. The DİSK Basın-İş has reacted by declaring that “It is not a ‘measure’ implemented on journalists, it is a ‘threat’!”
GAZETECİLERE UYGULANAN ‘TEDBİR’ DEĞİL, ‘TEHDİT’TİR! pic.twitter.com/7n0CKal5wf
— DİSK Basın-İş (@Disk_Basin_is) September 7, 2023
IFJ General Secretary, Anthony Bellanger said: “The travel ban imposed upon our colleagues is unacceptable. This is a clear attack on journalism and the public’s right to know. We call on Turkish authorities to immediately restore their freedom of movement and let them report freely. We urge for a just and fair resolution to this situation and once again call on Turkish President Erdogan to set the conditions for a free press in Turkey.”