Turkey: The Powerful And The Paranoid

April 3, 2012 § Leave a comment

Jess Hill
POLITICS   |   March 27, 2012
Turkey: The Powerful And The Paranoid
Turkey is powerful, prosperous and stable. So why is it locking up so many of its intellectuals?
“ We know that terrorist cells might include a university chair, an association or a NGO.” « Read the rest of this entry »

List of Journalists in Jail in Turkey

March 8, 2012 § Leave a comment



March 7, 2012

Below you will find the whole list of detained/arrested/convicted journalists based on their opinion, writings or publications (although in some cases even pre-publication.) This is the list of disgrace of democracy in Turkey. As of March 7, 2012 there are 104 (one hundred and four) journalists, writers or publishers arrested for their opinion in Turkish jails.

The list includes their position as a journalist/writer, the accusations (or convictions if any) and the last line is the name of the jail they are being held and their date of arrest.

Translated from Turkish original by ANGA (Journalist Friends of Ahmet and Nedim)

« Read the rest of this entry »

A Guide to Understand the OdaTV Case – 4: Being a lawyer in an adjudicated trial

February 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Yiğit Günay, January 27, 2012 (translation: Ege M. Diren)


The soL news portal published a series of articles concerning the background and the ongoings ofthe infamous OdaTV case. Signed Yiğit Günay, the articles investigate the trial’s judicial peculiaritiesas well as its political context and historical implications. Assuming the responsibility of providingEnglish information on Turkey with a political perspective that is compatible with our stance, wedecided to translate these articles for the English-speaking audience. 
This fourth and last article of the series is freely translatedfrom the Turkish original, titled “Odatv davasını anlama kılavuzu 4Bitmiş davanın avukatı olmak, published onDecember 31st, 2011.
You can reach the previous articles by following the Odatvlabel. « 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


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 »

RSF: Turkey Loses Ground again in World Press Freedom Index

January 29, 2012 § Leave a comment


Turkey fell back ten places to number 148 in the 2011-2012 World Press Freedom Index. According to the report of Reporters Without Borders, press freedom is in an even worse state in only 31 countries.

Paris – BİA News Center
26 January 2012, Thursday
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) announced the 2011-2012 World Press Freedom Index on 25 January.

While Turkey was on 138th position out of a total of 179 surveyed countries last year, the country fell back a further ten places to rank no. 148 this year.

The RSF report claims that Turkey is “back to old habits”. « Read the rest of this entry »

Turkey: Court Acquits Journalist Who Interviewed Kurdish Separatist

December 30, 2011 § Leave a comment


Reporters Without Borders

December 29, 2011

Reporters Without Borders said Thursday it hailed journalist Ertugrul Mavioglu’s acquittal by an Istanbul court earlier today on a charge of “propaganda in support of a terrorist organization” for interviewing Murat Karayilan of the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK), which the authorities regard as the urban wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). « Read the rest of this entry »

KCK arrests concern human rights defenders

December 26, 2011 § Leave a comment


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 »

36 more journalists arrested in Turkey, totaling 99 journalists in prison

December 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

[Compiled from Birgun, ANF and BIA news agencies. Previously the total number of journalists in prison was cited as 107, but it was changed to 99 after a press release by Turkey's Union of Journalists (TGS)] December 24, 2011

The AKP government continues to imprison the rights of the people.

Following the detentions within the scope of the so-called KCK operations on 20 December, 36 journalists have been remanded in custody by a vacation court for allegedly being “member of an illegal organization”. While being brought to court journalists shouted ¨This kingdom will come to an end.¨

After bearing testimony to the prosecutor at Istanbul Court for over 15 hours, 42 journalists were on 23 December evening referred to the vacation court with a demand of arrest. While six of them were released on 24 December morning on conditions of trial without arrest, 36 journalists were sent to prison once again despite the lack of any confirmed criminal evidence. « Read the rest of this entry »

Freedom of expression, freedom of press

December 24, 2011 § Leave a comment



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 »


December 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

Turkey currently holds more than 60 journalists in prison and the number goes up regularly. Last week, Turkish police detained more than 40 journalists, as part of a growing investigation against the Kurdistan Communities Union, KCK, an umbrella organization for Kurdish political movement.

At the same time, the second hearing of ODA TV case, which is the most symbolic case about freedom of press in Turkey, is approaching. This hearing will be held in Çağlayan Court House, in İstanbul on 26th of December 2011. The 13 journalists including well-known investigative journalists Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener have been in prison for nine months already because of the ODA TV case. All of these journalists have made critical news about Justice and Development Party (AKP), the ruling party in Turkey. These journalists are accused of crimes like being involved in a plot to overthrow the government, being member of a terrorist organisation, etc… There is no proof or evidence pertaining to these accusations yet! « Read the rest of this entry »

Journalists in Police Custody – Crackdowns on Homes and Offices

December 23, 2011 § Leave a comment


More than 25 journalists were taken into police custody on 21 December during crackdowns on offices of news agencies and newspapers in several cities. The raids and custodies are part of the “KCK operation”.

Istanbul – BİA News Center
21 December 2011, Wednesday

More than 25 journalists were taken into police custody in the course of operations against journalists in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Van, Adana and Diyarbakır on Tuesday morning (20 December). The crackdowns were part of the so-called KCK operation related to the Union of Kurdish Communities (KCK), the umbrella organization that includes the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). « 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 »

Strong Reaction to Journalists’ Arrest

December 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

Thousands gathered in Istanbul and Ankara, protesting the arrest of journalists in relation to the infamous KCK operations. Journalists, MPs, rights activists, union leaders condemn the latest police operation as the final nail on the coffin of freedom of expression in Turkey.

İstanbul – BİA News Center
21 December 2011, Wednesday

Thousands of people took to the streets in Istanbul and Ankara, protesting the arrest of journalists on allegations related to the so-called KCK operation. Police operations, investigations and massive trials into The Union of Kurdish Communities (KCK), the umbrella organization that includes the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) have seen thousands of pro-Kurdish politicians and rights activists arrested in the last two years. « Read the rest of this entry »

CPJ condemns journalist arrests in Turkey

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

December 22, 2011

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Ceyhun Atıf Kansu Caddesi No. 122
Ankara, Turkey

Via facsimile: +90 312 473 64 55

Dear Prime Minister Erdoğan,

The Committee to Protect Journalists is writing to condemn the arrests of as many as 29 journalists in raids on Tuesday as well as the ongoing media repression that has earned Turkey a reputation as one of the world’s worst press freedom violators and done grave damage to the consolidation of Turkish democracy.

In coordinated raids that stretched from Istanbul to Diyarbakir, and from Ankara to Izmir, police detained 40 individuals, according to state-run media. News reports said many are journalists, although the precise number is not clear. So far, CPJ has been able to identify 29 journalists by name and affiliation, and it continues to examine 11 others. Your government claims that the operation targets “the press and propaganda” arm of the Union of Kurdistan Communities (KCK), but it provides no evidence supporting this assertion. Authorities maintain that the KCK is the “urban wing” of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party, a claim that has been widely disputed. « 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


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


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 »

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.

  • 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 »

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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