Turkey’s enlightenment languishes, like the journalists in its prisons

March 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

, March 13, 2012

The record number of reporters imprisoned in Turkey threatens to extinguish the flame of democratic reform.

 

Turkish journalist Ahmet Sik (C) hugs his friends after he being released from prison in Istanbul. Photograph: Sinan Gul/Anadolu Agency/EPA

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/libertycentral/2012/mar/13/turkey-enlightenment-journalists-prisons?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+theguardian%2Fmedia%2Frss+%28Media%29

A year ago, police burst into the homes of two of Turkey’s best investigative journalists, Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik, and carted them off to prison where they remained until last night, charged with crimes so nebulous even prosecutors can’t explain them. « Read the rest of this entry »

Press-ganging the Turkish Media

March 15, 2012 § Leave a comment

http://latitude.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/03/13/turkeys-media-are-a-poor-champion-of-free-expression-thanks-to-government-control/#postComment

Andrew Finkel, March 13, 2012

ISTANBUL — The British say it about the police force, but the same may be true of the press: that a country gets the one it deserves. Woe is Turkey.

Turkey recently marked the 15th anniversary of what pundits call the “postmodern coup”: the military’s success at pushing out the Islamist-led coalition that was in power back then. The generals managed that in large part by press-ganging the print media, even forcing newspaper owners to fire prominent columnists who did not support their campaign to discredit the government.

The tables have since turned. Now the politicians have the military in retreat. Some 15 percent of senior officers are on trial for participating in the Ergenekon conspiracy, an alleged campaign of really dirty tricks intended to force the ruling AK Party out of office. « Read the rest of this entry »

Turkey’s Jailed Journalists

March 15, 2012 § 1 Comment

Dexter Filkins,March 9, 2012

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/03/turkeys-jailed-journalists.html

Quick: What country jails the most journalists?

If you guessed China, you were close, but no cigar. Twenty-seven reporters are in prison there, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists in New York. If you guessed Iran, you’re getting warmer—forty-two in prison there—but you’re still off. « Read the rest of this entry »

Erdogan vs. Auster: Why Is the Turkish Prime Minister Feuding with a Brooklyn-based Writer?

February 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2012/02/04/erdogan-vs-auster-why-is-the-turkish-prime-minister-feuding-with-a-brooklyn-based-writer/

Pelin Turgut, February 4, 2012

An Internet-fueled war of words raged across the Atlantic this week between the unlikeliest of opponents: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, an Islamic-leaning politician of fiery rhetoric and oft-bellicose disposition, and the erudite Brooklyn-based American novelist Paul Auster. At issue was the state of press freedom in Turkey, which currently ranks alongside China in the number of journalists it has jailed. « Read the rest of this entry »

Turkey’s Censorship Puzzle

January 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/jody-sabral/turkeys-censorship-puzzle_b_1232562.html

Jody Sabral, January 26, 2012, Huffington Post

Turkey has surpassed the likes of China, Iran and Russia, when it comes to the number of journalists/authors in prison, many of whom are being held without charge. At the time of writing this, anywhere between 70 to 100 journalists/authors sit in Turkish cells, their pens silenced for having an opinion on events unfolding in their own country. Many are internationally recognised for ground breaking work, uncovering corruption and organised crime. This can mean only one thing – free speech is becoming a thing of the past in Turkey, or is it? « Read the rest of this entry »

Behind Bars in the Deep State

January 12, 2012 § 1 Comment

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/01/11/behind_bars_in_the_deep_state?print=yes&hidecomments=yes&page=full

Does a shadowy mullah in Pennsylvania really hold the reins of power in Turkey? If not, then why are the country’s leaders so intent on silencing a single investigative journalist?

BY JUSTIN VELA | JANUARY 11, 2012

For many Turkish citizens, the evolution of their democracy is best discussed in whispers. Turkey has come far in recent years, but these days they prefer not to speak too loudly about where it is headed.

In the past two years, thousands of citizens who have voiced criticism of the government have been detained, usually led away by police in predawn raids on their homes. On Jan. 5, one of the country’s most high-profile detainees, investigative journalist Ahmet Sik, testified in court for the first time to defend himself against charges of propagandizing for a shadowy pro-military conspiracy called Ergenekon, which allegedly plotted to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. « Read the rest of this entry »

Charges Against Journalists Dim the Democratic Glow in Turkey

January 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Daniel Etter for The New York Times

Protesters in Istanbul last month denounced the detention of at least 38 people, many of them journalists, suspected, the police said, of ties to Kurdish separatists.

By and SEBNEM ARSU
Published: January 4, 2012

ISTANBUL — A year ago, the journalist Nedim Sener was investigating a murky terrorist network that prosecutors maintain was plotting to overthrow Turkey’s Muslim-inspired government. Today, Mr. Sener stands accused of being part of that plot, jailed in what human rights groups call a political purge of the governing party’s critics. « 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 »

Turkey arrests journalists in alleged terror plot

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

By Ivan Watson and Yesim Comert, CNN
December 20, 2011 — Updated 2317 GMT (0717 HKT)
Journalists and human rights activists gather in Istanbul on Tuesday to protest the detention of dozens of journalists.
Journalists and human rights activists gather in Istanbul on Tuesday to protest the detention of dozens of journalists.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police raids target journalists; dozens of people detained
  • “We consider this a witch hunt and a threat to anyone who is in opposition,” says newspaper executive
  • Observer says this is an ongoing clampdown “against people who are not terrorists”
  • Journalists say press freedom is under attack in Turkey

Istanbul (CNN) — Turkish police detained dozens of people in a wave of raids targeting suspected members of the “press and propaganda wing” of a banned Kurdish separatist group accused of committing acts of terrorism, the semi-official Anatolian Agency reported Tuesday. « Read the rest of this entry »

Is Turkey Using the Courts to Silence Critics?

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2100227,00.html

By PELIN TURGUT / ISTANBUL Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011

Journalists and human-rights activists protest in front of the Istanbul courthouse during the trial of two prominent Turkish journalists Ahmet Sik and Nedim Sener on Nov. 22, 2011

Mustafa Ozer / AFP / Getty Images

Nine months after they were first detained, two well-known and internationally acclaimed Turkish investigative journalists finally appeared before a judge on Tuesday in a trial that has become a rallying point for critics of Turkey’s curbs on freedom of expression. Ahmet Sik and Nedim Sener are among 13 defendants, including editors of a hard-line secularist website, accused of seeking to overthrow Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Islamic-leaning government — charges that international observers say have little evidence to support them. « Read the rest of this entry »

Home thoughts from abroad

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Even as Turkey preaches human rights to neighbours, its record at home is patchy

WITH her intense gaze, washed-out jeans and talk of freedom, Dilsat Aktas is a typical left-wing activist. In May the 29-year-old climbed onto an armoured police-carrier in Ankara to protest against the death of another activist, who had suffered a stroke after being sprayed with pepper gas in the Black Sea province of Hopa. Ms Aktas now hobbles around on crutches: the police clubbed her so hard as she tried to escape that they broke her left hip. “The doctor says it will take three years to fix,” she says, dragging on a cigarette. « Read the rest of this entry »

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