Cyprus: Journalists of “Afrika” to face charges in Turkey

Reporter and editor of a Cyprus daily newspaper “Afrika” Sener Levent and journalist Ali Osman have been informed by the local police officers in Northern Cyprus that a prosecution process has been launched against them in Ankara, Turkey, over criticism towards military actions of Turkey in Syria and the Turkish government. There are two cases filed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Ankara against the journalists. The first one concerns a publication released in January 2018 criticising the military operation in Afrin led by Turkey, comparing it to Turkish occupation of Cyprus, to which the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan…

Ukraine: Turkish journalist under threat

A Ukraine-based Turkish journalist has told the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ-EFJ) he fears for his safety after his name appeared on an “abduction list” published by local media. The IFJ and EFJ have called on the Ukrainian authorities to take urgent action to protect Yunus Erdogdu, founder and owner of the first Turkish language news website in Ukraine, following the detention and deportation of another journalist earlier this month. On July 12, Turkish journalist Yusuf Inan was detained by Turkish intelligence services in Ukraine accused of being a member of the Gulenist movement which the authorities claim…

Turkey : Three newspapers and one TV station closed by decree-law

On July 9, 2019, the Turkish government issued a decree-law firing 18,632 civil servants due to their alleged ties to “terrorist groups” and closing 12 associations, three newspapers and one TV station. The decree also dismissed 199 academics, some of whom were among the signers of the Academics for Peace initiative, which called on the Turkish government to halt military operations in the country’s Southeast, which resulted in hundreds of deaths and some hundred thousand displaced people. Among the closed newspapers, Özgürlükçü Demokrasi had been seized by the government in March when trustees were appointed to the board. Özgürlükçü Demokrasi,…

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…

The situation of media and freedom of expression in Turkey

To mark the World Press Freedom Day, the European Parliament with the support of the European Commission is dedicating a conference to the state of media and journalists in Turkey. Under the heading “The situation of media and freedom of expression in Turkey”, the event will bring together media and civil society representatives from Turkey and across the European Union. The event, to be held in the European Parliament in Brussels on 3-4 May, will be opened by the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani. Johannes Hahn, the European Commissioner for the European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations will…

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…

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