Mission to Turkey: press freedom remains in crisis

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined seven other organisations on a joint mission to Turkey, led by the International Press Institute (IPI). Despite some glimmers of hope, press freedom in the country remains in crisis. International press freedom groups and professional organisations reported today that press freedom and the rule of law in Turkey remain in crisis despite grounds for very cautious optimism, such as yesterday’s ruling releasing several former Cumhuriyet journalists. Over three days this week, the international press freedom delegation held meetings with journalists, civil society, the judiciary and the authorities to assess planned reforms and the…

IPI Joint press freedom mission to Turkey

The International Press Institute (IPI) is organizing a joint mission to Turkey of international organizations scheduled to be held between 11-13 September visiting both İstanbul and Ankara. This international mission will be organized by IPI with the support of partner organizations joining the mission. Representatives of the following international press freedom and freedom of expression organizations have been invited: IPI, RSF, A19, CPJ, Norwegian PEN, ECPMF, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), PEN International, IFEX, Free Press Unlimited, Index on Censorship. The EFJ will be represented by Mustafa Kuleli (TGS), newly-elected member of the EFJ Steering Committee.

Turkish court imposes access block on news portals

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on Turkish authorities to cancel the outrageous decision of Ankara 3rd Peace Judge to block access to 136 websites and social media accounts. Ankara 3rd Peace Judge Hasan Demirtas decided on 16 July to block access to 136 internet resources, including bianet and Gazete Fersude news portals, on the basis of “national security” (article 8/A of İnternet Law). The ban targets 15 websites and dozens of social media accounts (on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest). The court’s unjustified ruling prevents access to at least 200,000 news stories in bianet, which has been broadcasting…

Turkish think-tank report escalates harassment of journalists

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and 20 other human rights and freedom of expression organisations condemn a Turkish pro-government think-tank’s report that accuses leading international media of being biased against the government and singles out their correspondents for attack. The organisations regard the report as a dangerous escalation in the harassment of journalists. As mentioned in our prior joint EFJ-IFJ statement the report by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA), a think-tank created by İbrahim Kalın, who is nowadays an adviser to President Erdoğan,  is billed as an academic study of the news coverage of the…

Turkey: Union takes legal action against blacklisting of journalists

The Turkish Journalists’ Union (TGS), member of the European Federation of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ), and the Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) are taking legal action against a think tank over the publication of a report which allegedly blacklisted journalists working for foreign news media. The IFJ and EFJ condemned the targeting of journalists as the latest attempt by the authorities to silence independent journalism and fully support the actions taken by the TGS. The Foundation for Political Economic and Social Research (SETA), a pro-government organisation, published on July 6 a 202-page report entitled “International Media Outlets’ Extensions in…

Meeting with GCA (Turkey)

Meeting with the representatives of Journalists Association from Ankara (Gazeteciler Cemiyeti Ankara, GCA): Nazmi Bilgin, President, and Yusuf Kanli, Vice-President.

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.…

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