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Özgür Gündem Daily shut down and journalists’ homes raided in Turkey

Update: 15 Feb 2017 No reply yet
Year 18 Aug 2016 Country Turkey Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 2
18 Aug 2016 Turkey A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Level 2
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A court in Istanbul ordered on August 16, 2016 the closure of Özgür Gündem newspaper for spreading alleged "propaganda on behalf of the outlawed terrorist organisation". Shortly after the announcement of the newspaper’s closure by authorities, police raided its office in İstanbul’s Beyoğlu district. During the police raid, the newspaper’s editor-in-chief Zana Kaya, journalists Günay Aksoy, Kemal Bozkurt, Reyhan Hacıoğlu, Önder Elaldı, Ender Önder, Sinan Balık, Fırat Yeşilçınar, İnan Kızılkaya, Özgür Paksoy, Zeki Erden, Elif Aydoğmuş, Bilir Kaya, Ersin Çaksu, Mesut Kaynar,Sevdiye Gürbüz, Amine Demirkıran, Bayram Balcı, Burcu Özkaya, Yılmaz Bozkurt, Gülfem Karataş, Gökhan Çetin, Hüseyin Gündüz and Asli Erdogan were taken in custody by the authorities. Media freedom organisations condemned the violence of the detentions. Following the closure of Özgür Gündem, the authorities raided the next day (17 August) the house of Ragip Zarakolu, a journalist, writer and editor known for his publishing work on minority rights in Turkey. The writer was not home but his books about Armenian, Pontus and Assyrian genocides have been confiscated by the authorities. Houses of journalists Eren Keskin and Filiz Koçali have also been raided by the police for similar purpose. The total number of staff members detained has risen to 24, P24 reported on 16 August.

Updates

18 Oct 2016 : On 23 August 2016, Özgür Gündem daily’s Editor-in-Chief Zana Kaya and Chief Editor İnan Kızılkaya were arrested on charge of being a member of an illegal organization. Kaya and Kızılkaya who denied the accusations have filed complaints against the police officers for having beaten them during their six-day detention.
22 Aug 2016 : 23 staff members of Özgur Gündem Daily have been released, according to EFJ. Journalist Asli Erdogan is the only one to be kept in detention to date.

Follow-ups

New 15 Feb 2017 : Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey

Journalists Arrested in Major Clampdown following Failed Coup in Turkey

Update: 15 Feb 2017 No reply yet
Year 27 Jul 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , Index , IPI Alert level Level 1
27 Jul 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , Index , IPI Level 1
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On 25 July 2016, The Turkish anti-terrorism Prosecutor Irfan Fidan has today issued arrest warrants for 42 journalists in the wake of the failed coup against President Erdoğan. According to Anatolian News Agency, the journalists targeted are: Abdullah Abdulkadiroğlu, Abdullah Kılıç, Ahmet Dönmez, Ali Akkuş, Arda Akın, Nazlı Ilıcak, Bayram Kaya, Bilal Şahin, Bülent Ceyhan, Bülent Mumay, Bünyamin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cevheri Güven, Cihan Acar, Cuma Ulus, Emre Soncan, Ercan Gün, Erkan Akkuş, Ertuğrul Erbaş, Fatih Akalan, Fatih Yağmur, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Haşim Söylemez, Hüseyin Aydın, İbrahim Balta, Kamil Maman, Kerim Gün, Levent Kenez, Mahmut Hazar, Mehmet Gündem, Metin Yıkar, Muhammed Fatih Uğur, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Mürsel Genç, Selahattin Sevi, Seyid Kılıç, Turan Görüryılmaz, Ufuk Şanlı, Ufuk Emin Köroğlu, Yakup Sağlam and Yakup Çetin. Among those targeted by the warrants was prominent journalist and former parliamentarian Nazli Ilicak who was fired from the pro-government Sabah daily in 2013 for criticising ministers caught up in a corruption scandal, NTV and CNN-Turk reported. On 27 July 2016, journalist Nuriye Akman was taken into custody. On 27 July 2016, Istanbul prosecutors issued arrest warrants for 47 former executives and columnists of Zaman newspaper. Those named in the warrants include the following former columnists and executives : Osman Nuri Öztürk, Ali Akbulut, Bülent Keneş, Mehmet Kamış, Hüseyin Döğme, Süleyman Sargın, Veysel Ayhan, Şeref Yılmaz, Mehmet Akif Afşar, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Alaattin Güner, Faruk Kardıç, Metin Tamer Gökçeoğlu, Faruk Akkan, Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Sevgi Akarçeşme, Ali Ünal, Mustafa Ünal, Zeki Önal, Hilmi Yavuz, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Lalezar Sarıibrahimoğlu, Ali Bulaç, Bülent Korucu, İhsan Duran Dağı, Nuriye Ural, Hamit Çiçek, Adil Gülçek, Hamit Bilici, Şenol Kahraman, Melih Kılıç, Nevzat Güner, Mehmet Özdemir, Fevzi Yazıcı, Sedat Yetişkin, Oktay Vızvız, Abdullah Katırcıoğlu, Behçet Akyar, Murat Avcıoğlu, Yüksel Durgut, Zafer Özsoy, Cuma Kaya, Hakan Taşdelen, Osman Nuri Arslan, and Ömer Karakaş. On the same day, Zaman daily columnist, Şahin Alpay, has been detained after police raided his house in the early morning hours. Lale Sarıibrahimoğlu, who used to work for Zaman and Today’s Zaman and currently reports for IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, was taken by police from her home early on that day too. She has reported in detail about issues concerning the Turkey armed forces, their financial assets, and shortcomings in terms of transparency and accountability. She has suffered for several years from poor health and has need of assured access to medical attention.

Updates

26 Oct 2016 : As of 26 October 2016, the list of detained journalists was updated, adding the following 24 journalists, arrested under State of emergency as part of the coup investigation: Abdullah Özyurt, Ahmet Yavaş, Ayşenur Parıldak, Aytekin Gezici, Aziz İstegün, Bayram Parlak, Cumali Önal, Gültekin Avcı, Eda Şanlı, Halil İbrahim Mert, İbrahim Karayeğen, Kenan Baş, Lokman Erdoğan, Mehmet Kuru, Murat Aksoy, Nurullah Kaya, Nuri Durna, Olgun Matur, Osman Yakut, Özkan Mayda, Tuncer Çetinkaya, Vahit Yazgan, Vedat Demir and Yalçın Güler. Most of them were former Zaman journalists and executives. Additionally, 12 journalists, arrested during the State of emergency outside the coup probe, were also added to the list of detained journalists: Ali Aşikar, Erdem Mühirci, Hülya Karakaya , İlker İlkan, Mehmet Anıl, Mehmet Arslan , Necmiye Alpay, Nizamettin Yılmaz, Rabia Özkaya, Selahattin Koyuncu , Şirin Çoban and Zeynel Abidin Bulut.
18 Oct 2016 : As of 18 October 2016, 35 of the 89 journalists targeted by one of the 2 mass warrants issued after the coup attempt have been arrested : Abdullah Kılıç, Ali Akkuş, Nazlı Ilıcak, Bayram Kaya, Bünyamin Köseli, Cemal Azmi Kalyoncu, Cihan Acar, Cuma Ulus, Emre Soncan, Ercan Gün, Habip Güler, Hanım Büşra Erdal, Haşim Söylemez, Hüseyin Aydın, İbrahim Balta, Mustafa Erkan Acar, Seyid Kılıç, Ufuk Şanlı, and Yakup Çetin - Şeref Yılmaz, Ahmet Metin Sekizkardeş, Alaattin Güner, Faruk Akkan, Mümtazer Türköne, Şahin Alpay, Ali Ünal, Mustafa Ünal, Ahmet Turan Alkan, Ali Bulaç, Mehmet Özdemir, Fevzi Yazıcı, Murat Avcıoğlu, , Zafer Özsoy, Cuma Kaya, and Hakan Taşdelen. On Oct 12, former Taraf and Zaman columnists Lalezar Sariibrahimoglu and Nuriye (Akman) Ural were released from prison pending trial. An Istanbul Criminal Court decided that there were sufficient grounds for suspecting that both were members of the so-called Fethullah Gülen Terrorist Organization/Parallel State Structure, or FETÖ/PDY, but also indicated that the case against them would be subject to further assessment to ascertain whether it could be shown to be strong enough to proceed. On that basis they were released from custody on appeal with certain legal controls. Both are banned from travelling abroad. To date, ten journalists have been released: Arda Akın, Bülent Mumay, Mehmet Gündem, and Yakup Sağlam -Zeki Önal, Hilmi Yavuz, Lalezar Sarıibrahimoğlu (Lale Kemal), İhsan Duran Dağı, Nuriye (Akman) Ural and Osman Nuri Arslan.
12 Aug 2016 : As of 12 August 2016, IFJ/EFJ indicates that 74 journalists and media workers were in detention following the 15 July failed coup in Turkey.
26 Jul 2016 : In the early morning of 26 July 2016, journalist and former parliamentarian Nazlı Ilıcak, one of the 42 journalists named in the arrest warrants as part of the post-coup attempt crackdown operations, was detained in the Bodrum district of the Aegean province of Muğla. According to Turkish media reports, six other journalists appearing on the list were also detained: Yakup Sağlam, İbrahim Balta, Seyit Kılıç, Bayram Kaya, Cihan Acar and Hanım Büşra Erdal.

Follow-ups

New 15 Feb 2017 : Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey

Turkey: Two Journalists Detained under State of Emergency Provisions

Update: 15 Feb 2017 No reply yet
Year 07 Sep 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Alert level Level 1
07 Sep 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , RSF Level 1
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Journalists Cemil Uğur and Halil İbrahim Polat have been detained for over two weeks, under 'State of Emergency' provisions in Turkey. The journalists, who work for the daily newspaper Evrensel, were detained on 23 August in the province of Mersin, Turkey. The journalists were covering a Kurdish demonstration at the time of their arrest. According to Turkish Human Rights Association (IHD), the journalists have not been allowed family visits and, despite repeated efforts to obtain information, their families still have no clear understanding about the journalists’ situation and official charges have not yet been issued. The Mersin Police Chief reportedly refused to provide information on their situation. Furthermore, the journalists’ lawyer stated that they have been "exposed to insults and threats in prison.”

Updates

18 Oct 2016 : On 6 October 2016, Evrensel’s Mersin correspondent Cemil Uğur appeared before a Mersin Criminal Judicature of Peace. The court ordered his arrest on charges of being a member of an [illegal organization] and of making propaganda on behalf of an [illegal] organization. On October 11, Evrensel reporter Halil İbrahim Polat appeared before a Mersin Criminal Judicature of Peace, following a prosecutor’s objection to his release. He was released by the court on the same day after his interrogation.
08 Sep 2016 : On 8 September 2016, following a 16-day detention, Evrensel reporters Cemil Uğur and Halil İbrahim have been released on probation.

Follow-ups

New 15 Feb 2017 : Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey

Police raided Azadiya Welat newspaper, at least 23 staff members detained

Update: 15 Feb 2017 No reply yet
Year 30 Aug 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , CPJ , Index Alert level Level 1
30 Aug 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , CPJ , Index Level 1
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On 28 August 2016, the police raided the main office of the Kurdish-language daily newspaper Azadiya Welat based in Diyarbakir. According to media reports, at least 23 staff members of the newspaper have been detained at Diyarbakir Police headquarters following the raid, the names are : Yasemin Sayın, Hayat Yılmaz, Ahmet Kızılay, Arap Turan, Berxwedan Tulpar, Sürreya Dal, Zeynep İzgi, İbrahim Bayram, Engin Özelçi, Ahmet Boltan, Ceylan İpek, Mehmet Emin Kaya, Ziyan Karahan, Veysi Altın, Ercan Yeltaş, Azime Tarhan, Serdal Polat, Cengiz Aslan, Ferit Toprak, Mehmet Hüseyin Şahin, Mehmet Aydın, Pusat Bulut and Mehmet Emin Akgün. Dicle News Agency reported that the police justified the operation by the notice they received that “there are [illegal] organizational meetings held”. Phones and IDs of the staff members have been seized.

Updates

18 Oct 2016 : As of 11 October 2016, Arap Turan and Ferit Toprak were put under arrest. Zeynep İzgi, İbrahim Bayram, Engin Özelçi, Pusat Bulut and Serdal Polat were released on probation. 14 other journalists were released.

Follow-ups

New 15 Feb 2017 : Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey

At least Twenty TV and Radio Channels Removed from Türksat, the National Satellite Operator

Update: 15 Feb 2017 No reply yet
Year 30 Sep 2016 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 2
30 Sep 2016 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Level 2
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On 28 September 2016, the Turkish national satellite operator Türksat, the only communications satellite operator in Turkey, pulled the signal of twelve TV channels in Turkey - including IMC TV, Hayatın Sesi, Azadi TV, Jiyan TV, Van TV, TV 10, Denge TV and Zarok TV as well as a number of radio channels. An official at the Radio and Television Supreme Council, the state watchdog, confirmed that twenty stations were being closed. This administrative decision of Türksat, which undermines the public’s right to access information, was done on a direct order from the Government, which cited charges of “spreading terrorist propaganda” and “national security” as reasons for this shutdown.

Follow-ups

New 15 Feb 2017 : Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey

Turkey: Arrest of at least 12 employees of Cumhuriyet newspaper

Update: 15 Feb 2017 No reply yet
Year 31 Oct 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Alert level Level 1
31 Oct 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State Article 19 , AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index Level 1
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On 31 October 2016, Turkish police detained at least 12 employees of Cumhuriyet newspaper, Turkey's largest secular, left-leaning paper, and one of the few publications that continues to criticise the government. The detained media workers are accused of membership of, and committing crimes on behalf of, two terrorist organisations: the Kurdistan Workers’ party and the Fethullah Terrorist Organisation (FETÖ), which the government accuses of being behind the failed coup attempt. According to media reports, prosecutors also issued detention warrants for two of the newspaper’s executives, who are both currently abroad. Following police raids, the following people were taken into custody: Murat Sabuncu (Cumhuriyet Editor-in-Chief); Güray Öz (Cumhuriyet board executive and columnist); Aydın Engin (former editor-in-chief of the newspaper); Hikmet Çetinkaya (columnist); Eser Sevinç, Hakan Kara, Musa Kart, Bülent Utku, Mustafa Kemal Güngör and Önder Çelik (all board members of the Cumhuriyet Foundation); Turhan Günay (Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper’s book supplement); and columnist Kadri Gürsel, who is also the head of the International Press Institute’s Turkey office.

Updates

14 Nov 2016 : On 12 November 2016, the CEO of daily Cumhuriyet, Akin Atalay, was arrested for “being a member of a terrorist organization” , upon his arrival at Istanbul Atatürk Airport. A detention warrant had been issued for him on 30 October while he was abroad.
08 Nov 2016 : On 5 November 2016, nine journalists and executives from the Cumhuriyet daily were placed under formal arrest by the İstanbul 9th Penal Court of Peace. The daily’s columnists Aydın Engin and Hikmet Çetinkaya were released by the court pending trial. A travel ban was imposed on them. On 4 November 2016, Günseli Özaltay, the accounting manager of the newspaper, and former accounting manager Bülent Yener were released.

Follow-ups

New 15 Feb 2017 : Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey
31 Oct 2016 : Statement from Secretary General Jagland expressing his concern about state of emergency measures and freedom of expression in Turkey

Turkish Emergency Decree Shuts Down 9 Media Outlets

Update: 15 Feb 2017 No reply yet
Year 01 Dec 2016 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , Index , RSF Alert level Level 2
01 Dec 2016 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , Index , RSF Level 2
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On 22 November 2016, the Turkish Government issued a new decree ordering the closure of nine more local media outlets, bringing the total number of media outlets and printing houses closed in the aftermath of a coup attempt on July 15 to 176. According to State Emergency Decree No. 677, 375 civil society organisations and nine media outlets have been closed down for alleged “membership in terrorist organizations or organizations [or] groups that were listed by the National Security Council as acting against the security of the state.” The closed newspapers are: Ekspres daily (Adana), Türkiye Manşet daily (Çorum), Dağyeli daily (Hatay), Akis daily (Kütahya), İpekyolu daily (Ordu), Son Dakika daily (İzmir) and Yedigün daily (Ankara). Habereksen Magazine issued in Samsun and Batman FM radio were also closed down.

Follow-ups

New 15 Feb 2017 : Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey

Turkish Government Shuts Down 15 Pro-Kurdish Media Outlets

Update: 15 Feb 2017 No reply yet
Year 02 Nov 2016 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI Alert level Level 2
02 Nov 2016 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI Level 2
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On Saturday 29 October 2016, the Turkish government issued two decrees (No 675 and 676) shutting down 15 pro-Kurdish media outlets. 11 newspapers, two news agencies and three magazines are affected: • Newspapers: Özgür Gündem, Azadiya Welat, Batman Çağdaş , Cizre Postası , Güney Express, İdil Haber, Kızıltepe’nin Sesi, Prestij Haber, Urfanatik and Yüksekova Haber; • News agencies: Dicle News Agency (DİHA) and Jin News Agency; • Magazines: Tiroji, Özgürlük Dünyası and arts and culture magazine Evrensel Kültür. The latest closures bring the number of media outlets shut down in Turkey to 168 under state of emergency, a situation which allows the government to close any media organisation by issuing a cabinet decree.

Follow-ups

New 15 Feb 2017 : Human Rights Commissioner : Urgent measures are needed to restore freedom of expression in Turkey
31 Oct 2016 : Statement from Secretary General Jagland expressing his concern about state of emergency measures and freedom of expression in Turkey

Forced Closure of Turkey TV channels ON4 and Kanal12

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Year 10 Feb 2017 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , IPI Alert level Level 2
10 Feb 2017 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State AEJ , EFJ/IFJ , Index , IPI Level 2
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On 23 January 2017, two more Turkish TV channels, ON4 and KANAL 12, were closed down by order of the government. The forced closures were reportedly effected under emergency decrees numbers 682, 683, 684 and 685. An immediate protest was issued by the Journalists Support Committee of the Campaign for Freedom in Journalism and Broadcasting, which called on the government to rescind the order and permit the channels to resume broadcasting. The authors of that protest declared the closure orders a clear violation of articles 26 and 27 of the Turkish constitution, and of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. According to the Journalists Support Committee of the Campaign for Freedom in Journalism and Broadcasting, these two closures increase to 151 the total number of media outlets closed down by government intervention since the enactment of the state of emergency laws in Turkey in July 2016 and add to the large number of journalists who have been deprived of their employment and their source of income by state actions.

Cumhuriyet Journalist Canan Coşkun Faces 23 Years in Prison for Alleged Insult

Update: 27 Jan 2017 State replied
Year 05 Oct 2015 Country Turkey Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
05 Oct 2015 Turkey C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 2

Cumhuriyet journalist Canan Coşkun faces more than 23 years in prison on charges of “insulting public officials over their duties” for her report alleging that top judicial officials were able to buy discounted residences from a public real estate company. Daily Cumhuriyet reporter Canan Coşkun reported claims that a lottery to select homebuyers for a housing project in Istanbul’s Başakşehir neighborhood was rigged to favour members of a group of judges and prosecutors with ties to the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Updates

New 27 Jan 2017 : On 26 January 2017, Istanbul 2nd penal Court of first instance fined journalist Canan Coşkun to 12,600 TL for her report on judges and prosecutors becoming homeowners at a discount rate.

State replies

Follow-ups

17 Mar 2016 : The Venice Commission recommends that Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (Degrading Turkish Nation, State of Turkish Republic, the Organs and Institutions of the State) be redrafted and further amended with the aim of making all the notions used in it clear and specific. Application of this provision should also be limited to statements inciting to violence and hatred.

Masterminds Still not Condemned, Ten Years After the Assassination of Journalist Hrant Dink

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Year 19 Jan 2017 Country Turkey Category D. Impunity Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Alert level Level 1
19 Jan 2017 Turkey D. Impunity State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , IPI , RSF Level 1
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On 19 January 2007, Hrant Dink, the Turkish-Armenian journalist and founder of Agos newspaper, was shot dead at 15:05 on the street in front of his office in Istanbul. The murderer, a 17-year-old Turkish nationalist, and some of his accomplices were apprehended and imprisoned but not all parties involved in the crime have been investigated. In 2010, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that Turkish authorities have failed to protect Hrant Dink’s rights to life and freedom of expression. Turkey’s Constitutional Court ruled that that civil servants and institutions must be investigated for their alleged roles in the journalist’s murder. Public servants who allegedly failed to protect the journalist and prepared false reports are currently being prosecuted at Istanbul 14th penal court.

Follow-ups

19 Jan 2017 : Ten years on, OSCE media freedom representative calls the authorities of Turkey to increase their efforts to ensure that justice is served in the case of journalist Hrant Dink

Relevant CoE instruments Disclaimer

19 Jan 2017 : Case of Dink v.Turkey, ECHR Judgment of 14 September 2010 (Applications n°2668/07, 6102/08, 30079/08, 7072/09 and 7124/09) : Failure of authorities to protect life of a journalist following death threats and to protect freedom of expression of a journalist who had commented on identity of Turkish citizens of Armenian extraction

Journalist Ahmet Şık Detained

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Year 11 Jan 2017 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 1
11 Jan 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , CPJ , Index , RSF Level 1
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Since 29 December 2016, the investigative journalist Ahmet Şık is detained by Turkish authorities on charges of " propaganda on behalf of an illegal terrorist organisation" and "openly denigrating the Republic of Turkey, its judicial organs and its military and police". Şık tweeted that he was being detained due to a single tweet; a news report stated that the detention also related to various reporting elements including an interview with Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)'s administrator published in Cumhuriyet daily in March 2015. On 30 December, Ahmet Şık was officially put under arrest on charges of spreading propaganda for the PKK, the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP-C) and for the Fethullah Gülen group, an Islamic network the Turkish judiciary refers to as the Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ). All three groups are outlawed in Turkey. A report published by the Cumhuriyet claimed that Ahmet Şık had been denied drinking water for three days at Metris Prison, where he was kept before being transferred to Silivri Prison on 3 January. The Justice Ministry's Directorate General for Correctional Facilities released a statement denying the allegation, the official statement claimed Şık was given 1.5 liters of bottled water on 1 January. The Turkish authorities own regulation states that "any inmate has to right to have on daily basis 200 liters of cold water and 50 liters of hot water". Ahmet Şık also claimed that he was denied access to newspaper, pen and books in the cell. Ahmet Şık's access to his lawyers (Can Atalay and Tora Pekin) and family members were also denied during the first 5 days of his detention because the authorities couldn't record the conversation between the lawyers and their client. Şık was previously arrested in March 2011 in relation to an investigation into the Oda TV news website. He spent a year in prison for an unpublished critical book about the Gülen movement supported, at that time, by the AKP government. Today, the journalist is charged with doing propaganda for the same movement. Cumhuriyet daily where Ahmet Şık is working counts another 10 journalists and media workers currently in jail. The names are Akin Atalay (lawyer), Murat Sabuncu (editor-in-chief), Kadri Gürsel (columnist), Güray Öz, Hakan Kara, Turhan Günay, Önder Celik, Bülent Utku (lawyer), Musa Kart (cartoonist) and M. Kemal Güngör.

Six Journalists Detained Without Explanation

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Year 10 Jan 2017 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Alert level Level 1
10 Jan 2017 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Index , RSF Level 1
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Journalists and media workers Tunca Öğreten (freelance), Mahir Kanaat (BirGün daily), Ömer Celik (DIHA news director), Metin Yoksa (DIHA correspondent), Eray Saygin (Yolculuk daily) and Derya Okatan (ETHA) have been detained by Turkish authorities on 25 December 2016 at 04:30 from their homes in Istanbul, Ankara and Diyarbakır. Derya Okatan (ETHA) is on hunger strike against “state of emergency rulings” since 25 December and Ömer Celik (DIHA) was allegedly beaten during his arrest. Under the state of emergency, Turkish authorities have extended the detention period from 4 to 30 days and lawyers have no access to journalists for more than 5 days. No official reason has been given for these arrests and the journalists claim that they are being badly treated in detention.

Belgium arrests a Kurdish journalist at Turkey's request

Update: 03 Jan 2017 No reply yet
Year 21 Dec 2016 Country Belgium Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 1
21 Dec 2016 Belgium B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 1
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On 15 December 2016 the Kurdish journalist known as Maxime Azadi was arrested near Turnhout, in Belgium, during routine checks by the Belgian police. Maxime Azadi runs the Kurdish press agency Firat news (ANF), set in the Netherlands. He also holds the blog called « Beyond the information » (in French, « Au-delà de l’information ») on the French online Platform Mediapart. He was arrested by the Belgian police upon a request made by the Turkish authorities, which had placed an Interpol lookout (a « red note ») against the journalist, suspected of having « cooperated with a terrorist organisation ». On 16 December 2016 the investigative judge from Turnhout placed the journalist under a detention warant. On 19 December, the journalist’s lawyer, Luc Walleyn, filed a motion for interim release. It should be examined on Friday 23 December by the Judges' Council Chamber of Turnhout. If the detention warrant is confirmed, the Belgian political authorities will have to rule on Maxime Azadi’s extradition to Turkey.

Updates

New 03 Jan 2017 : Journalist Maxime Azadi was released on bail on 23 December 2016

Turkey: Attack on Yeni Cağ Daily Building

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Year 09 Dec 2016 Country Turkey Category C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Source of threat Unknown Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
09 Dec 2016 Turkey C. Harassment and intimidation of journalists Unknown EFJ/IFJ Level 2
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An attack was carried out on the headquarters of Yeni Çağ daily on 8 December 2016. A statement issued by the right-wing daily newspaper, which is known with its affiliation with the opposition wing in the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP), said “a group of 30 people attacked our daily’s headquarter building in İstanbul. The aggressors entered inside the building and caused material damage. The aggressors stated to wear masks ran away from the scene”. The attack caused heavy damages to the material and the building of the newspaper. Coming to the building following the incident, Turkish police maintained a security cordon on the street where the building is situated.

French Satellite Provider under Pressure to Remove Kurdish Med Nuçe TV

Update: 22 Nov 2016 No reply yet
Year 03 Oct 2016 Country France Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
03 Oct 2016 France E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Non-state EFJ/IFJ Level 2
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Eutelsat SA, the French satellite provider hosting over 6000 televisions channels, has notified its intention “to remove immediately” Med Nuçe TV, a Kurdish language television channel broadcasting from Belgium, from its transponder because “the content is not in line with public order directives of the terms between us as well as with the laws which regulate TV distribution in Europe and surrounding countries”. According to EFJ sources, Eutelsat SA has been put under pressure by RTÜK (Turkish Radio Television Supreme Council) to remove the signal of Med Nuçe TV considered as a pro-PKK television channel by Turkish authorities. The request follows the banning by Türksat, at the request of the Turkish government, of around 20 opposition channels and radio stations under the state of emergency.

Updates

22 Nov 2016 : On 14 November 2016, the Paris Commercial Court ordered Eutelsat to re-establish the broadcasting of the TV channel Med Nuçe
03 Oct 2016 : On 3 October 2016, Eutelsat removed the signal of Med Nuçe TV and the channel is no longer accessible to viewers.

French Satellite Provider Eutelsat Removed the Signal of Swedish-Based TV Newroz

Update: 18 Nov 2016 No reply yet
Year 17 Oct 2016 Country France Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat Non-state Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
17 Oct 2016 France E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Non-state EFJ/IFJ Level 2
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On 11 October 2016, Eutelsat SA, the French satellite provider hosting over 6000 televisions channels removed the signal of Newroz TV, a Kurdish language television channel broadcasting from Sweden. According to media reports, Eutelsat received a direct request from the Turkish Radio Television Supreme Council (RTÜK). Newroz TV is accused by the Turkish authorities of spreading propaganda for the Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK). It is the second Kurdish TV channel to be dropped by Eutelsat in one week. On 3 October, the signal of Med Nûçe TV was also removed and the channel was no longer accessible to viewers.

Updates

18 Nov 2016 : On 14 November 2016, the Paris Commercial Court condemned Eutelsat SA for removing the signal of Newroz TV, on 11 October 2016. The French satellite operator was ordered "to re-establish the broadcasting of programmes" under a penalty of 10.000 € per day of delay.

A Court Orders the Blocking and Closure of Information Websites and Users’ Profiles on Twitter

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Year 28 Sep 2016 Country Turkey Category E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Alert level Level 2
28 Sep 2016 Turkey E. Other acts having chilling effects on media freedom State EFJ/IFJ , AEJ , Index Level 2
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In a judgment dated from 2 August 2016, the Criminal Court of Gölbaşı (Ankara) ordered the prohibition of access to 33 Internet addresses (17 Twitter accounts, 1 Facebook account and 15 information sites, including profiles and sites managed by journalists) on the grounds of "protecting people’s right to life and safety, the property of others, national security or the maintenance of public order." The court’s judgment considers that the sites in question are "promoting terrorism, violence or are inciting to commit crimes that threaten public order or national security." Contrary to these allegations, several of the sites in question which are managed by professional journalists, according to the European and International Federations of Journalists (EFJ-IFJ), provide essential information about the purges launched following the aborted coup of 15 July and the ongoing violations of media freedom in Turkey.

Ahmet Altan and Mehmet Altan detained for words used on TV

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Year 13 Sep 2016 Country Turkey Category B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , RSF Alert level Level 1
13 Sep 2016 Turkey B. Detention and imprisonment of journalists State EFJ/IFJ , Article 19 , AEJ , RSF Level 1
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On 10 September 2016, Ahmet Altan (journalist and writer) and his brother Mehmet Altan (professor and journalist) were detained by Turkish authorities for the words they used on the "Özgür Düşünce" programme that was broadcast on Can Erzincan TV on July 14. According to the Anadolu Agency, both journalists are accused of "delivering subliminal messages evoking the coup" and they gave "the impression that they already knew about the coup". Because the prosecutors in charge of the case are currently on holiday, no access to files has been granted to their lawyers and an appeal procedure against the detention has been refused to both defendants.

LGBT Journalist Beaten by Police Officers

Update: 13 Sep 2016 Resolved
Year 09 Jun 2015 Country Turkey Category A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists Source of threat State Partner EFJ/IFJ Alert level Level 2
09 Jun 2015 Turkey A. Attacks on physical safety and integrity of journalists State EFJ/IFJ Level 2

LGBT journalist Michelle Demishevich (T24) has been beaten on 1 June 2015 by plain clothes police officers in front of the Belgian Consulate in Istanbul. Demishevich was attempting to attend a press statement given by Sümeyye Erdoğan, the daughter of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The journalist has filed a complaint with the police, according to an article posted by her employer T24. The following days, the EFJ has received a second complaint from Demishevich who was harassed and targeted by an Islamist online magazine because of her origin and sexual orientation.

Resolved In the immediate wake of the incident, an investigation was opened against the police officers involved. On 13 September 2016, the partner organisations of the Platform declared this case to be ”resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.

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