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 violated rights of journalists Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) calls on Turkish authorities to release without any delay all journalists wrongfully imprisoned in Turkey after the European Court of Human Rights ruled today against Turkey on applications filed on behalf of Turkish journalists Şahin Alpay and Mehmet Altan, who were imprisoned following the failed coup attempt in July 2016. The Strasbourg court issued today a decision on the provisional detention of Mehmet Altan and Şahin Alpay for more than a year and a half. The decision stated that “the investigating authorities had been unable to demonstrate any factual basis” that indicate that both journalists…

Turkey and the “forgotten” Zaman journalists in jail

On 4 March 2016, five months before the coup attempt of July 2016, one of the biggest daily newspaper was seized by the Turkish authorities on charges of being affiliated with the Gülen movement. Created in 1986, the newspaper was initially a strong supporter of President Erdogan’s AKP until it became increasingly critical and subsequently the movement which it was affiliated with accused of infiltrating the institutions in order to create a “parallel state”. Many journalists and media workers were first quickly sacked without any compensation. Despite being fully managed by government-appointed trustees since March 2016, the newspaper was banned by…

EU leaders should react to the political seizure of Zaman media group

Update (05/03/2016): Turkish police have raided the offices of Zaman, the country’s biggest newspaper, late on Friday, in Istanbul, hours after a court ruling placed it under state control. Another blow to free speech in #Turkey: #Zaman takeover is nothing but a veiled move to eradicate opposition media pic.twitter.com/fJM0QZ4EJc — Lotte Leicht (@LotteLeicht1) March 5, 2016 ——————— The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) are closely following and with great concerns the ongoing media crackdown against Zaman media group in Turkey. On March 4, according to local media reports, an İstanbul court has appointed trustees…

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EFJ-IFJ monitoring press trials in Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) last week sent journalist Barry White (NUJ UK) to observe the new press trials in Turkey, 29 – 31 January. Barry White, also a member of the EFJ Steering Committee, was joined by Mustafa Kuleli (General Secretary of the Journalists Union of Turkey, TGS), atthe first hearing against journalists Can Dündar (Cumhuriyet), Utku Çakirözer (Cumhuriyet), Hakan Gülseven (Yurt) and Nazli Ilicak (Bugün). The journalists are being sued by the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his wife Emine and son Bilal for violation of privacy and defamation following their…