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: 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.…

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 journalists 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…