Tiger Turkey at the crossroads

January 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

The country is one of success stories of the last decade, but is its increasingly autocratic government slowly threatening progress?

In the tea houses of Istanbul the mood is generally optimistic as customers listen to the news of the European economic crisis. “Turkey doesn’t need Europe,” says one tea drinker.

“Look at Greece – it was inside the European Union and they’re going bankrupt.” Osman, a middle-aged estate agent, adds that “when you compare Turkey today with Turkey 20 years ago, everything has got better.” « Read the rest of this entry »

Responding to Turkey’s appalling press freedom record

December 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Hundreds of Turkish journalists march to protest detentions and demand reforms to media laws in Ankara on March 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Hundreds of Turkish journalists march to protest detentions and demand reforms to media laws in Ankara on March 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan would like to take credit for Turkey’s economic growth and increasing regional influence, but when challenged on his country’s abysmal  press freedom record he tends to blame others, including the media itself which, he says, exaggerates the problem.

But the facts speak for themselves, as I noted in a letter CPJ sent yesterday to the prime minister. In it, we condemned the recent raids that have rounded up at least 29 journalists and we criticized the government for the politicized legal process that has led to the imprisonment of dozens of other journalists across the country. « Read the rest of this entry »

KCK arrests concern human rights defenders

December 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

http://turkey.setimes.com/en_GB/articles/ses/articles/features/departments/national/2011/12/23/feature-01

The most recent wave of arrests targeting journalists pushes the Kurdish issue into a tense, critical period.

By Alakbar Raufoglu for SES Türkiye — 23/12/11

Dozens of journalists representing pro-Kurdish media were rounded up in simultaneous police operations across Turkey on Tuesday (December 20th), accused of ties to the PKK by being active members of the “propaganda wing” in the larger Kurdish umbrella organisation, Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK).Critics say KCK trials and arrest of journalists reveal just how much the country needs sweeping judicial reform. [Reuters]

Critics say KCK trials and arrest of journalists reveal just how much the country needs sweeping judicial reform. [Reuters] « Read the rest of this entry »

Freedom of expression, freedom of press

December 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

 

http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/freedom-of-expression-freedom-of-press.aspx?pageID=449&nID=9755&NewsCatID=409

22.12.2011, Murat Yetkin, Hurriyet Daily News

Reacting to French Parliament’s initiative to ban saying that the 1915 killings of Armenians was not genocide, Turkish Foreign Minister said yesterday in his Libération piece that the French take was a violation of freedom of expression.

The French take is beset on a 2008 European Union framework decision. There are certain well defined caveats on freedom of expression when it comes to human life. For example, it is forbidden in Germany to praise the Holocaust in Germany and Europe under occupation during World War II and claim that it was not genocide against Jewish people; nearly 6 million Jews were systematically killed by the Nazis just because of being who they are, as ruled by the Nuremberg Trials after the war.

I am not going to get into the debate whether the 1915 massacres, for which I feel deeply sorrow and regret, are of the same kind as the Holocaust.

But I can debate that the poisonous competition in the French political atmosphere now puts all unlike matters in the same basket.

Therefore, Davutoğlu has a point when he approaches the issue on the basis of freedom of expression.

Freedom of expression and its twin sister freedom of press are under questioning in today’s Turkey too. « Read the rest of this entry »

Rights groups condemn arrests of Turkish journalists

December 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

(Reuters) – Press freedom groups condemned the arrests of dozens of journalists across Turkey this week, which rights groups say could make it one of the countries with the most reporters in jail.

France-based Reporters Without Borders said on Tuesday it was “astonished” at the scale and manner of the detentions, which have “no place in a democratic state”, and urged Turkish authorities to explain in detail the reasons for the arrests.

The latest arrests could push the number of reporters in Turkish jails above 100, among the highest in the world, and will fuel accusations Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government is intolerant of dissent and is trying to tame the media. « Read the rest of this entry »

Report: Journalists detained in Turkey

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

AP foreign, Tuesday December 20 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/10004577?fb=native

SUZAN FRASER

Associated Press= ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish police on Tuesday detained some 40 people, including journalists, as part of a growing investigation into a Kurdish group that prosecutors accuse of links to Kurdish rebels, the country’s state-run television said.

The private Dogan news agency said Mustafa Ozer, a photographer working for the French news agency, Agence France Presse, and journalists for Kurdish media organizations were among the detained. Photographs obtained by The Associated Press show Ozer smiling as he is being led by a plain-clothed police officer into a van. « Read the rest of this entry »

Turkey Arrests Journalists It Ties to Outlawed Group

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204058404577110491968093640.html

21.12.2011, By AYLA ALBAYRAK

ISTANBUL—Twenty-six journalists were among the suspects arrested on Tuesday in a crackdown on an organization tied to Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a media watchdog said, heightening criticism of the country’s record on press freedom.

If the number is confirmed, the arrests would bring the number of journalists in Turkish jails to more than 90, one of the highest detention numbers for journalists in the world, the Bianet media-rights monitoring group said.

The journalists, most of them working for Kurdish newspapers and agencies, were arrested on Tuesday as part of an operation against the Kurdistan Communities Union, or KCK, an umbrella organization for Kurdish nationalist groups that the government says acts as the urban wing of the PKK. « Read the rest of this entry »

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