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: Apply for the ECPMF Journalists-in-Residence Programme

The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) offers practical solidarity to journalists resident in Turkey. It extends its Journalists-in-Residence programme to up to three more journalists from Turkey and is now accepting applications. The ECPMF considers its Journalists-in-Residence Programme to be a concrete and lasting contribution to the campaign for media freedom and pluralism in Europe. “Journalists staying with us have often been fighting for years to be able to work independently and without restrictions. They are long-established colleagues who often face massive threats in their home countries”, says Christian Schult, JiR programme co-ordinator at the ECPMF.  “The…

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…