European Federation of Journalists

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

Turkey: Release imprisoned journalists and human rights defenders at risk of coronavirus

Picture credit: Adem Altan / AFP.

Amid growing concerns over the spread of COVID-19 in prisons, the Turkish government is accelerating the preparation of a draft law that will reportedly release up to 100,000 prisoners. This is a welcome step. Overcrowding and unsanitary facilities already pose a serious health threat to Turkey’s prison population of nearly 300,000 prisoners and about tens of thousands of prison staff. That will only be exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. However, we remain concerned that journalists, human rights defenders and others imprisoned for simply exercising their rights, and others who should be released, will remain behind bars in the package of…

COVID-19: EFJ and IFJ urge Turkish government not to discriminate against political prisoners

Picture credit: Ozan Kose / AFP.

Sixteen human rigths and professional organisations urged Turkish Government not to discriminate against political prisoners in its forthcoming early parole bill. The Arrested Lawyers Initiative, European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), Foundation of Day of the Endangered Lawyers, Freemuse Association, International Association of People’s Lawyers, International Observatory of Human Rights, International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Italian Federation for Human Rights, Lawyers for Lawyers, Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada, Liga voor de Rechten van de Mens, Platform for Peace and Justice, Social Justice Advocacy Campaign, Open Dialogue Foundation, Media and Law Studies Association made a…

Turkey must end public ad ban on independent newspapers

Today, the International Press Institute (IPI), the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS), Reporters without Borders (RSF) and the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), called for an immediate end to the ban on public advertising on the two independent newspapers Evrensel and BirGün. Both newspapers are part of a shrinking club of media that have stubbornly resisted pressure to curb their independent journalism and readiness to criticize the authorities. Since September they have been subjected to indefinite bans imposed by BIK (Basin Ilan Kurumu), the agency responsible for the distribution of the state advertising budget.…

Turkish press authority cancels press cards of hundreds of journalists

The Turkish press authority cancelled press cards of hundreds of journalists, but did not give any reason for the measure. The International and European Federations of Journalists (IFJ and EFJ), along with their national affiliates, the Journalists’ Union of Turkey (TGS) and DİSK Basın-Is, urge the authorities to revoke this decision and reissue immediately new press cards to their holders. The decision concerned hundreds of journalists who found out that the Directorate General of Press and Information in Prime Ministry’s Office had cancelled their press cards, when they received their press cards with a “cancelled” stamp inside the back cover.…

Aseev is free but 122 journalists remain in prison in Europe

Picture credit: Genya Savilov / AFP.

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the release of Ukrainian journalists Stanislav Aseev and Oleh Halaziuk who suffered a long illegal custody in Donetsk. On Sunday, at a checkpoint near Gorlovka, pro-Russian separatists and Ukraine have concluded a long-awaited prisoner exchange of 200 prisoners, including the two journalists who contributed to the Ukrainian service of the US-funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. While welcoming these releases, the EFJ recalls that 122 journalists and media actors remain in prison in Europe: 108 in Turkey; 7 in Russia; 6 in Azerbaijan; 1 in the United Kingdom (Julian Assange, founder and publisher of WikiLeaks,…

Meeting with TGS Chairman

The EFJ GS and staff will meet with TGS chairman Gökhan Durmus, in order to discuss ongoing and future projects.

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.