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 »

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 »

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

Detained Turks focus debate on press freedom

March 7, 2012 § Leave a comment

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/04e94f32-6467-11e1-b50e-00144feabdc0.html#ixzz1oThZ4Xu9

March 5, 2012; Daniel Dombey

Yonca Verdioglu has a clear memory of the morning, just over a year ago, when the police arrived at her Istanbul apartment to arrest her husband for writing a book.

Pablo, the family’s golden retriever, announced the visitors with a bark just before seven in the morning. Then the doorbell rang. Before long there were 11 police officers and five family lawyers in the flat, as officials scoured the premises for terrorist materials. “Some of the policemen were afraid of the dog,” Ms Verdioglu recalls. Seven hours after their arrival, the police left, taking with them Ahmet Sik, Ms Verdioglu’s husband. « Read the rest of this entry »

CASE OF TUŞALP v. TURKEY – European Court of Human Rights

February 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

http://cmiskp.echr.coe.int/tkp197/view.asp?item=1&portal=hbkm&action=html&highlight=TURKEY&sessionid=87057362&skin=hudoc-en

SECOND SECTION

(Applications nos. 32131/08 and 41617/08)

JUDGMENT

STRASBOURG

21 February 2012

This judgment will become final in the circumstances set out in Article 44 § 2 of the Convention. It may be subject to editorial revision.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Turkish journalist awarded €5,000 after freedom of expression court victory

February 21, 2012 § Leave a comment

February 21, 2012 – European Convention of Human Rights

http://www.humanrightseurope.org/2012/02/turkish-journalist-awarded-e5000-after-freedom-of-expression-court-victory/

A journalist, critical of Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has been awarded €5,000 after judges backed his human rights complaint.

The European Court of Human Rights decided today that Turkish courts should not have ordered Erbil Tuşalp to pay damages for criticising the Prime Minister.

In today’s Chamber judgment in the case Tuşalp v. Turkey (application no. 32131/08), which is not final, the European Court of Human Rights held, unanimously, that there had been:

A violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights

The case concerned the complaint by a journalist of having been ordered to pay damages for defamation for having published two articles criticising the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. « Read the rest of this entry »

‘Treason’ in Turkey

February 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

Prosecutors wage war on suspected coup conspirators—but at what cost to the country?

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/02/19/democracy-is-the-victim-in-turkey-s-war-on-coup-conspirators.html
by  | February 20, 2012 12:00 AM EST
Turkey’s reform-minded Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is nothing like his iron-fisted Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin—right? Think again. In both leaders’ countries, journalists who dare to criticize the government often end up behind bars. In Erdogan’s Turkey, as in Putin’s Russia, the ruling clique’s political adversaries have been hounded by courts and police and have spent months or years in jail without trial, while oppositionist businessmen have been slapped with ruinous tax bills. On at least two dismal indices, Turkey ranks even worse than Russia: Reporters Without Borders’ latest Press Freedom Index puts Turkey in 148th place, behind Russia at 142, and the European Court of Human Rights found Turkey guilty of 174 violations last year, while runner-up Russia had 133. « Read the rest of this entry »

Jailed journalists a sign of declining press freedom in Turkey

February 19, 2012 § Leave a comment

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-turkey-media-20120219,0,4791137.story

By J. Michael Kennedy, Los Angeles Times; February 19, 2012 / Reporting from Istanbul, Turkey

Turkey is often held up in the U.S. and Europe as a model of how democracy can work in a Muslim country. But activists say press freedom continues to erode.

One ofTurkey’sbest known publishers and human rights activists is sitting in prison — again — waiting for a court case that appears to be at a virtual standstill. He is far from alone.

Ragip Zarakolu was arrested in October along with dozens of other people suspected of having links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, also known as the PKK. « Read the rest of this entry »

A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF: THE DETERIORATING STATE OF MEDIA FREEDOM IN TURKEY

February 14, 2012 § Leave a comment

http://www.silkroadstudies.org/new/inside/turkey/2012/120206A.html

Turkey Analyst, vol. 5 no. 3, February 6, 2012

Gareth Jenkins

Most international attention has focused on the more than 100 journalists who are now in jail in Turkey as a result of what they have written or said. But more pernicious – and ultimately much more corrosive to freedom of expression – is the widespread self-censorship and the climate of fear, which extends well beyond the media into Turkish society at large. Yet it would be a mistake to hold the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan solely to blame. The underlying problem goes much deeper and is considerably older than the AKP government. Indeed, it could be argued that the main responsibility for the deteriorating state of freedom of expression in the country lies with the Turkish media itself.

BACKGROUND: The recent rapid rise in the number of journalists being imprisoned in Turkey has led to an increase in international expressions of concern about the deteriorating state of freedom of expression in the country. In its annual Press Freedom Index for 2011, which was released on January 25, 2012, the Paris-based Reporters Sans Frontières (Reporters Without Borders or RSF) ranked Turkey 148th out of 179 countries worldwide, down from 138th in 2010. Despite Prime Minister Tayyip Erdoğan’s repeated declarations that, since it first came to power in November 2002, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) has been creating an “advanced democracy”, it was the fifth year in succession that Turkey had slipped down the RSF rankings. « Read the rest of this entry »

“Kill All The Lawyers”: Stifling Dissent in Turkey

February 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

William Jones, February 4, 2012

http://blog.amnestyusa.org/justice/kill-all-the-lawyers-stifling-dissent-in-turkey/

Turkey’s jailing of writers has received increasing attention in both the Turkish and the international press, enough to force Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to defend the fact that Turkey has more journalists in prison,  describing them as “so-called journalists” who “ are actually “police murderers, sexual molesters and supporters of a coup”.

In 2011 Turkey imprisoned 104 journalists, causing Reporters Without Borders to drop Turkey’s press freedom ranking to 148th in the world.  Either the country has one of the most vicious and corrupt press corps in modern history or these arrests are politically motivated.  However, the Prime Minister will have none of this.  When American Ambassador to Turkey Francis Ricciardone stated that he was unable to understand the massive arrests, he was dismissed by Erdogan as a “rookie ambassador” who just didn’t understand Turkey. « Read the rest of this entry »

A Brawl Over Turkish Press Freedom

February 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

http://rendezvous.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/04/a-brawl-over-turkish-oppression-of-the-press/

Susanne Fowler, February 4, 2012

PARIS — A war of words between an American novelist and the prime minister of Turkey over press freedom is playing out in a befittingly public venue: in newspapers and on Web sites.

Author Paul AusterLucas Dolega/European Pressphoto AgencyAuthor Paul Auster

Paul Auster, author of “The New York Trilogy” and other works, told Rendezvous by telephone from his studio in Brooklyn on Friday that he had told a Turkish journalist that he would not visit Turkey, nor China for that matter, as a way to protest the jailing of scores of journalists and writers there. « 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 »

Paul Auster hits back at Turkish PM

February 4, 2012 § Leave a comment

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/feb/03/paul-auster-hits-back-turkish-pm?CMP=twt_gu

Alison Flood, February 3, 2012

After Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the novelist ‘ignorant’, Auster reiterates protest against country’s free speech prohibitions

American novelist Paul Auster has hit back after the Turkish prime minister described him as “an ignorant man”.

Auster, author of the acclaimed New York Trilogy, told Turkish paper Hurriyet earlier this week that he refused to visit Turkey because of imprisoned journalists and writers. “How many are jailed now? Over 100?” Auster, a popular author in Turkey where his new book Winter Journal has just made its first appearance, said. “Us Democrats got rid of the Bushes. We got rid of [former vice president Dick] Cheney who should have been put on trial for war crimes. What is going on in Turkey?” « Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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 »

Erdogan Pledges ‘No Revenge’ as Turkish Press in Spotlight

January 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ayla Albayrak, January 27, 2012, Wall Street Journal

http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2012/01/26/erdogan-pledges-no-revenge-as-turkish-press-in-spotlight/

Turkey’s economy may have made giant leaps forward in 2011, but press freedoms appeared to take a significant step back. Scores of arrests and high-profile firings have fanned a growing international outcry that media freedoms here have been heavily compromised.

Late on Wednesday, Reporters Without Borders confirmed in its annual report that perceptions of freedom of expression in Turkey fell sharply in 2011. According to the Paris-based NGO, Turkey — an EU candidate country — sunk 10 places to 148th of 179 countries ranked; six places below Russia and followed by Mexico and Afghanistan.

Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Newspapers are displayed at a newsstand in Istanbul.

The tide of negative publicity appears to be of growing concern to Ankara. Just hours after the report Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered his response, denying accusations that his ruling AK Party has restricted freedom of expression and pledging to drop cases against a number of journalists accused of crimes that could not result in more than five years in prison. « 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 »

Erdogan, Justice and the Rule of Law

January 12, 2012 § Leave a comment

January 10, 2012; Financial Times

http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/46463fa0-3b8e-11e1-bb39-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1jEsSMlIG

Since coming to power in 2002 Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has led his country some way down the road to becoming a more open and liberal democracy. But a report on Turkey’s judicial system published by the Council of Europe this week highlights the increasingly halting nature of this advance.

The report cites “longstanding, systemic shortcomings in the administration of justice in Turkey (that) adversely affect the enjoyment of human rights”. These include lengthy proceedings and detentions, sometimes up to 10 years; the use of secret witnesses; arrests of scores of journalists; and uncertainty about the judiciary’s independence from the executive. « Read the rest of this entry »

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