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 »

One year already behind bars: The absurd trial of Turkish journalists continue

March 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Almost a year ago 13 journalists and writers were put behind bars because of the ODA TV case, which was about  an alleged shadowy pro-military conspiracy called Ergenekon allegedly plotted to overthrow the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Investigative journalists Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener were among them. While the absurd trial continued, the number of prisoned Turkish journalists was up to 104, thanks to the ‘advanced democracy’ of the ruling party AKP (Justice and Development Party). Since March 2011, ODA TV case became one of the most symbolic cases about freedom of press in Turkey.

Accordingly, 13 defendants of the case were charged with having made critical news about AKP and Fethullah Gulen movement! In addition, these journalists were accused of  being involved in a plot to overthrow the government, being member of a terrorist organisation, etc…  Now it has already been one year, and there is still no proof or evidence pertaining to these accusations!

The new hearing of the case will be held on 12th of March 2012 (Monday) in İstanbul.

We, the journalists asking freedom for our friends, will be in the court house again on 12th of March 2012.

THEY CAN NOT SILENCE JOURNALISTS BY PUTTING US BEHIND BARS!

AHMET AND NEDIM WILL COME OUT AND WRITE AGAIN!

EVEN IF WE BURN WE WILL TOUCH! 

For more information:

Our blog page in English:  http://turkeypressfreedom.wordpress.com/

Our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/ahmehnedimonurumuzdur/

Our twitter account: ahmet_nedim

List of Journalists in Jail in Turkey

March 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

http://www.theglobetimes.com/2012/03/07/list-of-journalists-in-jail-in-turkey/

 

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 »

One Year On, Prominent Turkish Reporter and IPI World Press Freedom Hero Languishes in Prison

March 6, 2012 § 1 Comment

http://www.freemedia.at/index.php?id=288&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=6070&cHash=3b66bbc37b

Journalists Around the World Call for Nedim Şener’s Release

By: Steven M. Ellis, IPI Press Freedom Adviser for Europe and North America

VIENNA, Mar 2, 2012 – Journalists around the world today joined the International Press Institute (IPI) in condemning Turkey’s continued imprisonment of investigative journalist and IPI World Press Freedom Hero Nedim Şener, one year after he was detained in connection with an alleged coup plot.

IPI Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie said: “The fact that Nedim Şener has been taken away from his family and locked up for a year on allegations that his journalism was a sham designed to protect those whose wrongdoing it exposed is both tragic and absurd. We call on Turkey’s authorities to immediately release Mr. Şener and his co-defendants in the Oda TV case pending trial, and to ensure that their trial is fair and fully in line with international standards of due process.” « Read the rest of this entry »

3 MARCH 2012: CALL OF INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY FOR THE JOURNALIST PRISONERS IN TURKEY

March 1, 2012 § Leave a comment


A mass protest will be held in Istanbul on the first year anniversary of the detention & arrest of Turkish investigative journalists Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener

Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener, among more than 100 journalist prisoners in Turkey, will have been behind bars for one year already as of 3th of March 2012 because of the ODA TV case, which became one of the most symbolic cases about freedom of press in Turkey. The third hearing of the case will be held in on 12th of March 2012.

The 13 defendants of the case include well-known investigative journalists. All of them 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 was no proof or evidence pertaining to these accusations so far!

These accusations are obviously based on fictional grounds. During the tenure of his career, Şık focused on exposing human rights violations by the state, rings of corruption within the government and unveiling the abuses of the ‘deep state’. Prior to his arrest, he was working on an investigative book known as ‘Imam’s Army’, which was about how a powerful religious group led by Fethullah Gulen (a Muslim preacher and educator living in the United States, seen as an influential voice of opposition against secularism in Turkey) was organised within Turkey’s police force.

Police confiscated draft copies of the book during a raid on Şık’s family home on March 3, 2011. However the text has shown up on the Internet ‘in defiance of the law’ and was downloaded by many, which was a means of protesting the arrests. Recently the book was published in Turkey, as an act of civil disobedience with the signatures of 125 journalists and writers from Turkey. Şener, Şık’s prison mate, is also a vocal critic of crimes committed by the state apparatus. He was honoured by ‘the World Press Freedom Hero award’ by the International Press Institute for his investigative book about the assassination of Turkish-Armenian newspaper editor Hrant Dink in 2007, which has also gone through the alleged involvement of state security officials in the assassination.

Our group, ‘Journalist Friends of Ahmet and Nedim’ (ANGA) will hold a mass protest on the first anniversary arrests of Ahmet Şık and Nedim Şener. Many journalists’ associations, democratic institutions, unions, political parties, intellectuals, artists will also join the protest. ANGA will call again the Turkish government to stop the oppression against journalists, to set all the journalists who are behind the bars free and to remove the anti-democratic anti-terrorism law (TMK) as well as the code of criminal procedure (CMK), which restrict freedom of expression and cause lengthy detention periods. The protest will begin on 3 March, at 11.00 AM (GMT +2:00) in front of the Taksim Square tram station. It will end in Galatasaray Square, where the press release will be read out, following a march along Istiklal Avenue.

Journalist Friends of Ahmet and Nedim (ANGA)

 

For more information:

Our blog page in English:  http://turkeypressfreedom.wordpress.com/

Our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/groups/ahmehnedimonurumuzdur/

Our twitter account: ahmet_nedim

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)

http://outforbeyond.blogspot.com/2012/01/guide-to-understand-odatv-case-4-being.html

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 »

A Guide to Understand the OdaTV Case – 3: Barış Terkoğlu, and Journalism in Court

February 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Yiğit Günay, January 9, 2012 (translation: Ege M. Diren)

http://outforbeyond.blogspot.com/2012/01/guide-to-understand-odatv-case-3-bars.html

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 third article of the series is freely translated from the Turkish original, titled “Odatv davasını anlama kılavuzu 3Barış Terkoğlu ve gazeteciliğin yargılanması, published on December 29th,2011.

Editorial note: Since this article containsreferences to many other issues in Turkishpolitics, we decided not to prolong thetranslation with many footnotes but insteadskip some parts that are harder to catchfrom the context.

You can reach all the articles by followingthe Odatv label.

In this third part of our article series on the Odatv trial, we examine the parts of the indictment that are related to Barış Terkoğlu1. The indictment is based upon nothing more than his journalist activities.  « Read the rest of this entry »

A Guide to Understand the OdaTV Trial – 2: Were the digital documents sent through virus activities?

February 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

Yiğit Günay, January 14, 2012 (translation: Ege M. Diren)

The soL news portal published a series of articles concerning the background and the ongoings of the infamous OdaTV case. Signed Yiğit Günay, the articles investigate the trial’s judicial peculiarities as well as its political context and historical implications. Assuming the responsibility of providing English information on Turkey with a political perspective that is compatible with our stance, we decided to translate these articles for the English-speaking audience.
This second article of the series is freely translated from the Turkish original, titled “Odatv davasını anlama kılavuzu 2Dijital dokümanlar virüsle mi geldi?”, published on December 26th, 2011.
In this second part of our article series on the Odatv case, we discuss if the documents claimed to be gathered from Odatv computers were embedded there through virus activities. As a matter of fact, whether they are sent through virus activities or not, the journalists should be released immediately.
The last expert investigation from the US is now complete. It states that the documents are infected. Are they really infected or not?
We should all be clear about one thing: It does not matter at all whether these documents are infected or not! « Read the rest of this entry »

JUDICIAL REFORM BILL – JUST PLACATORY GESTURE OR START OF REAL CHANGE?

February 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

http://en.rsf.org/turquie-judicial-reform-bill-just-09-02-2012,41833.html

PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY 9 FEBRUARY 2012. UPDATED ON FRIDAY 10 FEBRUARY 2012.

Reporters Without Borders takes note of a government bill aimed at loosening Turkey’s legislative straightjacket, especially as regards the media, and hopes that it represents a first step towards more significant reforms, or else its impact will be minimal.

“By finally addressing certain major failings in the Turkish judicial system, this bill is a step in the right direction,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This recognition of the shortcomings is welcome, contrasting as it does with the usual denial on the part of senior officials. « Read the rest of this entry »

PROJET DE RÉFORME LÉGISLATIVE : SIMPLE GESTE D’APAISEMENT OU AMORCE D’UN VÉRITABLE CHANGEMENT?

February 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

http://fr.rsf.org/turquie-projet-de-reforme-legislative-09-02-2012,41832.html

PUBLIÉ LE JEUDI 9 FÉVRIER 2012. MIS À JOUR LE VENDREDI 10 FÉVRIER 2012.

Reporters sans frontières prend acte de l’initiative gouvernementale visant à atténuer la portée du carcan législatif turc, en particulier sur la presse. L’organisation espère vivement qu’il s’agit d’un premier pas vers des réformes plus significatives, sans quoi son impact restera nul.

« En s’attaquant enfin à certains travers majeurs de la justice turque, ce projet de loi va dans le bon sens, a déclaré l’organisation. Il constitue d’ailleurs un aveu bienvenu, en contraste avec le déni constant manifesté par les plus hautes autorités. Mais il ne prévoit que des aménagements, dont les effets demeureront très limités si le législateur s’en contente au détriment de véritables réformes de fond. Colmater les brèches ne suffit pas : les libertés publiques ne seront réellement garanties que lorsque la Loi antiterroriste (LAT), le Code pénal et le Code des procédures pénales seront complètement débarrassés de la logique répressive qui les imprègne. » « Read the rest of this entry »

Court Defense of Dogan Yurdakul, January 27, 2012

January 27, 2012 § 2 Comments

TO: THE 16TH HIGH CRIMINAL COURT OF ISTANBUL

File No: 2011/14

Defendant: Dogan Yurdakul

Plaintiff: K.H

Re: Service of my pre-defense

Your Honor, Esteemed Court,

I stand before you because of my thoughts.

The entirety of the accusations raised against me is directed at my personal thoughts. I consider these accusations, as an insult to my personality and to the freedom of thought and expression in general, since they cause me to defend myself, by aiming at my thoughts and at expressing such thoughts in written or at expressing such thoughts during my telephone communications.

In the meantime, even though indicating and refuting various and fictitious assumptions which constitute the basis of the criminal charge are already like a punishment in the first place, I have to do that so.

Your Honor, when commencing the first hearing, you have suggested as ‘facts and fictions shall be separated’ by the court. By considering your suggestion as an assurance, I am going to try to indicate and answer the fictions mentioned in the criminal charge against myself, on the purpose of simplifying this separation process. « Read the rest of this entry »

JUDICIAL SYSTEM PRESSES ON WITH ABSURD TRIAL OF ODA TV JOURNALISTS

January 10, 2012 § 1 Comment

Judicial system presses on with absurd trial of Oda TV journalists

PUBLISHED ON FRIDAY 6 JANUARY 2012, http://en.rsf.org/turkey-judicial-system-presses-on-with-06-01-2012,41639.html

This week’s hearings in the Istanbul trial of investigative journalists Ahmet Sik and Nedim Sener and eight journalists employed by the Oda TV news website – Soner Yalçin, Dogan Yurdakul, Baris Pehlivan, Baris Terkoglu, Muhammet Sait Cakir, Coskun Musluk, Yalçin Küçük and Müyesser Ugur – have confirmed that the prosecution has no case against them.

“By pressing on with this absurd prosecution and keeping the defendants in detention, the Turkish judicial system is just discrediting itself,” Reporters Without Borders said. « Read the rest of this entry »

TURKEY: “FREE JOURNALISTS” CHALLENGE COURTS

January 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ece Temelkuran, 06 Jan 2012,

http://www.indexoncensorship.org/2012/01/turkey-press-freedom-ece-temelkuran/

The trial of several journalists accused of being involved in an alleged plot to overthrow the Turkish government had degraded the status of press freedom in the country, writes Ece Temelkuran

“We are spending our lifetimes running in between the courtrooms”, reads one of the tweets from outside the court. People are already talking about “the trial of the following day”. They are spending the night in the freezing cold weather of Istanbul and hoping that the court will release the 11 journalists who have been awaiting trial for almost a year. They are exchanging the dates of scheduled court cases against the journalists, students and politicians, complaining about the overlapping court dates. « Read the rest of this entry »

A Guide to Understand the OdaTV Trial – 1: What are the journalists accused of? What is the evidence?

January 10, 2012 § Leave a comment

Yiğit Günay, January 9, 2012 (translation: Ege M. Diren)

http://outforbeyond.blogspot.com/2012/01/guide-to-understand-odatv-trial-1-what.html

The soL news portal published a series of articles concerning the background and the ongoings of the infamous OdaTV case. Signed Yiğit Günay, the articles investigate the trial’s judicial peculiarities as well as its political context and historical implications. Assuming the responsibility of providing English information on Turkey with a political perspective that is compatible with our stance, we decided to translate these articles for the English-speaking audience.
This first article of the series is freely translated from the Turkish original, titled “Odatv davasını anlama kılavuzu 1: Gazeteciler neyle suçlanıyor, kanıtlar neler?”, published on December 23rd, 2011.
The first hearing of the Odatv trial was cut short for the evaluation of the recusation demand; so, in a sense, the trial will start on the second hearing on December 26th. « Read the rest of this entry »

UPDATE 1-Journalists on trial in Turkey mock conspiracy case

January 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

* Critics says arrests compromise Turkish democracy

* Nearly 100 members of the media in jail

* Government denies charges of media repression (Adds quotes from defendants)

By Ece Toksabay

ISTANBUL, Jan 5 (Reuters) – Prominent Turkish journalists on trial for links to an underground anti-government network called the charges against them politically motivated and “a massacre of justice” in a case that has raised concerns over media freedom in Turkey.

Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik, investigative journalists arrested in March and held since in a top-security prison outside Istanbul, were among 14 defendants in court to open their defence on Thursday.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Court Defense of Ahmet Şık, January 5, 2012

January 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

My friends and foes, they both know who I am.
I am a journalist.

Since my friends know me, some of them are sitting here in this courtroom today to follow the hearing. The majority who couldn’t make it inside the room – including those who stand by me despite knowing me in person – have been out on the streets for months.  That is to say, I am here simply because I am a journalist who is mindful of professional ethics and is in the pursuit of truth. That’s the reason why my friends are right next to me. And of course since my foes know me as well I am here at this courthouse today as one of the detained defendants.

I have witnessed so many things in my profession over the last 20 years. Without exception, I reported everything factually and accurately. I have never made any news under instruction of any organisation, institution or person. I have never resigned from the news that I wanted to cover due to the interference of any organisation, institution or person either. That’s the reason why both my friends and foes know what kind of a journalist I am. It’s not my intention to explain you my professional background today. However, I have to mention what kind of a journalist I am so that some things can be clearly understood. « Read the rest of this entry »

December 26, 2011: URGENT CALL OF SOLIDARITY FOR THE JOURNALIST PRISONERS IN TURKEY

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 »

Turkish journalists face judge in test of media freedom

December 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

By Yesim Comert and Gul Tuysuz, CNN
November 23, 2011 — Updated 1218 GMT (2018 HKT)
Journalists and human right activists protest in front of the courthouse in Istanbul during the trial of several journalists.
Journalists and human right activists protest in front of the courthouse in Istanbul during the trial of several journalists.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The government says the journalists have not been charged in connection with their jobs
  • They are accused of being involved in a plot to overthrow the government
  • The courtroom was packed with journalists, observers and families of the defendants

Istanbul (CNN) — Several journalists accused of being involved in an alleged plot to overthrow the Turkish government appeared in an Istanbul court on Tuesday for the first hearing in a trial that is seen as a test for media freedoms in Turkey. « Read the rest of this entry »

Turkey’s War on Journalists

December 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/12/22/turkeys_war_on_journalists?page=full

As Prime Minister Erdogan’s government grows increasingly intolerant of dissent, the media is bearing the brunt of its effort to silence its critics.

BY ALIA MALEK | DECEMBER 22, 2011

ISTANBUL —When the terrorism trial of jailed Turkish journalists Ahmet Sik and Nedim Sener began in Istanbul on Nov. 22, only a handful of their colleagues — far fewer than expected — gathered in protest outside the courthouse that will decide their fate.

A mosaic of the smiling photographs of many of Turkey’s detained journalists was laid out on the ground at the foot of a swarm of TV tripods, their cameras aiming for a glimpse of the defendants. Sik and Sener’s case is perhaps the most high-profile example of what critics see as the Turkish government’s crackdown on critical voices, which has transformed it into one of the world’s leading jailers of journalists. « Read the rest of this entry »

Turkish Journalist Sends Message from Prison

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

World Press Freedom Hero Nedim Şener Extends Wish for ‘A World of Freedom’

Turkish journalist Nedim Sener receives the IPI World Press Freedom Hero Award from IPI Director Alison Bethel McKenzie at the IPI World Congress 2010

VIENNA, 21 Dec. 2011 – International Press Institute (IPI) World Press Freedom Hero Nedim Şener, a Turkish investigative journalist and writer and winner of the Freedom of Expression Award, last week sent holiday greetings to colleagues and supporters from the Silivri prison. « Read the rest of this entry »

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