Journalists’ organisations on the front line to tackle gender equality and online harassment

Around 30 journalists and journalists’ representatives from 20 European countries attended the workshop on “Increasing gender equality and diversity in the workplace” on 28 and 29 May in Istanbul, Turkey. Co-organised by the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS), the workshop aimed to provide best practices and concrete tools to improve equality between male and female journalists, improve diversity in the newsroom and counter growing online harrassment. Journalists’ unions and professional associations are best placed to initiate the change when it comes to closing the gender pay gap, improving work-life balance, fighting stereotypes in…

Magazine by young journalists looks into working conditions in Western Balkans & Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) published on 8 May 2019 a magazine focusing on journalists’ working conditions in the Western Balkans and Turkey. The contributors are six students in journalism from the region, winner of the 2019 Journalism Students Award. The first edition was organised by the journalists’ unions and associations in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BH Journalists), Kosovo (AGK), Montenegro (TUMM), North Macedonia (SSNM), Serbia (SINOS) and Turkey (TGS), in partnership with the EFJ. The objective was to involve the young generation in the debate on working conditions in countries where journalists often face precariousness, insecurity and lack of…

Turkey: International organisations condemn recent attacks against journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) along with other 19 press freedom and freedom of expression organizations sent a joint letter on 16 May to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, calling for justice following the recent physical attacks against two journalists, Yavuz Selim Demirağ and İdris Özyol. The letter urges the government to publicly denounce these acts of violence and ensure journalist safety in the run-up to the mayoral elections in Istanbul set for 23 June 2019. May 16, 2019 Your Excellency, President Erdoğan We are writing to you to express our serious concern over the brutal attacks on journalists…

Journalist critical of the government severely beaten-up in Turkey

Turkish Journalist Yavuz Selim Demirag was violently attacked by a group of unidentified men armed with baseball bats on May 10 in Ankara. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) strongly condemn the aggression and urge the authorities to protect press freedom. Yavuz, a critic of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and supporter of an opposition party, was attacked after appearing on a TV Show on Friday night. He was immediately sent to the hospital, his newspaper The Yenicag said. His life is not in danger, however. The assault happened in a context of growing…

Turkey needs to respect foreign media outlets’ independence

UPDATE (14/03/2019) : The ZDF announced that Jörg Brase is after all allowed to continue his work in Turkey and that they corrected their decision/that he will get a work permit. Two German journalists were compelled to leave Turkey on Sunday, 10 March 2019, after their press accreditations were not renewed for 2019 without any explanation. Jörg Brase, a journalist working for Germany’s ZDF public broadcaster, and Thomas Seibert, reporter at the Tagespiegel newspaper, were long-term correspondents in the country. The Turkish embassy in Germany apparently tried in vain to make a deal to have the correspondents replaced, Tagespiegel’s editor-in-chief reports.…

Resolution Turkey: The myth of domestic legal remedy

Nearly 50 MEPs join the resolution supported by the EFJ calling for restoration of rule of law and release of Turkey’s journalists. MEP Rebecca Harms (centre) at a roundtable on press freedom in Turkey at the European Parliament in January 2019 A total of 47 MEPs and 14 press freedom and free expression organizations, including the EFJ, and Green MEP Rebecca Harms have joined a resolution underscoring the lack of effective domestic legal remedies for journalists targeted in Turkey’s media crackdown. The resolution follows a roundtable held under Chatham House Rules on January 29, 2019, at the European Parliament on…

Report: Urgent action needed to protect press freedom in Europe

Press freedom in Europe is more fragile now than at any time since the end of the Cold War. That is the alarming conclusion of a report launched today by the 12 partner organizations of the Council of Europe Platform to promote the protection of Journalism and safety of journalists. The report, “Democracy at Risk”, analyses media freedom violations raised to the Platform in 2018. It provides a stark picture of the worsening environment for the media across Europe, in which journalists increasingly face obstruction, hostility and violence as they investigate and report on behalf of the public. The 12 Platform partners…

Turkey: solidarity with a newspaper is not a crime

UPDATE (29-01-2019) : Ayşe Düzkan and four other journalist were sentenced to prison because of participating in the “Editor-in-Chief on Duty” campaign with the now-closed Özgür Gündem newspaper. Today, Ayşe Düzkan went to the prosecution office and was sent to Bakırköy prison. Her friends, her colleagues and also DİSK Basın İş members were with her. She was sentenced to 1 year and 6 months in prison. But it is not certain how much time she will stay in prison yet. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) is calling the Turkish authorities to immediately release Ayse and the other journalists sentenced in the framework…

Turkey deports Dutch journalist without explanation

On 17 January 2019, the journalist Ans Boersma, Turkey correspondent for the Dutch financial paper Het Financieele Dagblad, was deported from Istanbul and sent back to Amsterdam. Ms Boersma was apprehended by Turkish police a day before following her visit to the migration office to renew her residence permit as a foreign correspondent. Just nine days before her arrest, she received her accreditation and press card from the Turkish authorities for the year 2019. Ruling out the possibility of a misunderstanding or administrative issue, the police told the journalist that  she formed a risk to Turkey’s national security without any further…

Journalist Pelin Ünker sentenced to jail for writing on “Paradise Papers”

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) shared its condemnation of the jail sentence against a Turkish female journalist for writing investigative stories on the “Paradise Papers”,  a set of confidential electronic documents relating to secret offshore investments. “In Turkey the price for doing investigative journalism is not an award but prison. All European Leaders should put pressure on Turkey to drop all the charges against Pelin Ünker”, said Mogens Blicher Bjerregaard, EFJ President. The EFJ reported the case as a media freedom violation to the Council of Europe’s Platform to promote the protection of journalism and safety of journalists : On 8…

Turkish court upheld prison sentences for 5 journalists

The European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ) strongly condemn the confirmation of prison sentences for five journalists by the Third Penal Chamber of the İstanbul Regional Court of Justice in Turkey. In the lawsuit filed against five journalists for participating in the Editors-in-Chief on Watch campaign that was launched in solidarity with Özgür Gündem, a Kurdish daily newspaper, which was subsequently banned per the Statutory Decree no. 675, the İstanbul 13th Heavy Penal Court gave its verdict for Ayşe Düzkan, Ragıp Duran, columnists of the newspaper Mehmet Ali Çelebi and Hüseyin Bektaş and its former Co-Editor-in-Chief Hüseyin Aykol on January…

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