Turkey : #JournalismIsNotaCrime

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#GazetecilikSuçDegildir /  #JournalismIsNotaCrime

Campaign to set journalism free, develop trade union rights and defend freedom of expression in Turkey

The overall objective is to promote and protect fundamental rights through enhancing the role of journalists in promoting democracy, good governance and public’s right to access information. Freedom of expression is an enabling right for other human rights. Freedom of expression through quality journalism enables the abuse of other human rights to be exposed and those responsible to be held accountable. Strengthening the position of journalists and their ability to perform their role in serving the public with informed independent critical journalism is the bedrock of democracy.

Specific objectives include:

• Improve journalists’ rights, safety and independence through a strengthened Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) that can protect professional and labour rights and improve conditions;
• End judicial harassment of journalists and the release of remaining jailed journalists.
• Improve coverage of equality and minority issues by media and improve treatment of minorities in media
At the heart of the specific objectives is the need to build a strong national journalists’ union that can protect and represent its members. A strong journalists’ union will promote the profession, promote the rights of its workers and the standards of journalism. It will engage employers, government and civil society on the need to protect quality, independent journalism as a lifeblood of society. It will unite the many different and diverse voices around the central principles of independent ethical journalism and the need to protect everyone’s right to contribute to it.

Activities

  • Work Package 1: Capacity building programme to audit, reform, equip and provide 3 leadership trainings of TGS staff, leaders and activists in Istanbul on union leadership, negotiating and campaigning
  • Work Package 2: 30 Recruitment activities at workplaces, 10 employer negotiations:
  • Work Package 3: Opening a new TGS branch /solidarity office in Diyarbakir
  • Work Package 4: 3 safety trainings for 60 journalists in South east Turkey on hostile environments, digital security, PTSD and first aid.
  • Work Package 5: Press Freedom, trial Monitoring and advocacy campaign with legal support co-ordinated nationally and internationally
  • Work Package 6: Journalists and unionists international advocacy and networking
  • Work Package 7: Women and LGBTI equality Commission campaign for equal treatment and improved reporting of equality issues.

#EU4humanrights


Actions

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…

Nine international organisations urge EU officials to raise Turkey’s freedom of expression crisis during EU-Turkey high political dialogue

To the attention of:  EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, Ms Federica Mogherini,  EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Mr Johannes Hahn,  We, the undersigned organisations, urge the addressed European Union (EU) officials to discuss Turkey’s freedom of expression crisis and fractured rule of law during their high level political dialogue with the Turkish government on 22 November 2018.  More than 160 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey today, with hundreds more on trial for exercising their right to freedom of expression. In 2018, the World Press Freedom Index…

EFJ-IFJ launch a transitional solidarity fund for journalists in Turkey

Journalists in Turkey have in recent years faced unprecedented state crackdown. Despite the lifting in July 2018 of a two-year long state of emergency, the press continues to be stifled and journalists to face trials, job insecurity and abuse. Thousands of journalists have been sacked in recently years, particularly in the last two, with catastrophic impact on the victims and their families. To support journalists in need and their families, the International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ/EFJ) have established a transitional solidarity fund for journalists in Turkey. This solidarity fund provides financial relief to prosecuted and sacked journalists. It…