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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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
Balgat
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

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 »

Journalists detained in Turkey

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

December 20, 2011 06:17 PM By Suzan Fraser ,  http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2011/Dec-20/157436-journalists-detained-in-turkey.ashx#axzz1h6xDY3Pb

A plainclothes policeman escorts Agence France Presse (AFP) photographer Mustafa Ozer to a police van. (AP Photo)
A plainclothes policeman escorts Agence France Presse (AFP) photographer Mustafa Ozer to a police van. (AP Photo)

ANKARA: 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 »

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 »

Journalists on Coup Trial in Turkey

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

 

NOVEMBER 23, 2011

http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2011/11/23/journalists-on-coup-trial-in-turkey/?KEYWORDS=ayla+albayrak

By Ayla Albayrak

AFP/Getty Images
Journalists and human right activists protest in front of the courthouse in Istanbul during the trial of two prominent Turkish journalists on Tuesday.

ISTANBUL — Thirteen people went on trial Tuesday accused of involvement in a plan to topple Turkey’s AK-Party government, including two investigative journalists whose arrest and near-nine month detention has become a rallying point for critics of the government’s record on media freedom.

Turkish and international human rights groups say the cases of Nedim Sener and Ahmet Sik highlight the poor state of press freedom in Turkey, and see their long detentions as punishment for journalistic work. « Read the rest of this entry »

Turkish trial of journalists raises human rights concerns

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2011/1122/Turkish-trial-of-journalists-raises-human-rights-concerns

Turkish journalists Ahmet Sik and Nedim Sener appeared in court today in a trial that has some questioning the health of Turkey’s democracy, long considered a model in the Muslim world.

By Alexander Christie-Miller, Correspondent / November 22, 2011

ISTANBUL

Several Turkish journalists appeared in court today for the start of a trial that has sparked fears of growing authoritarianism in the Muslim-majority democracy.

Two investigative reporters who had been writing about judicial and police corruption are among those implicated in the alleged conspiracy to overthrow the country’s Islamic-rooted government.

Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has frequently been praised by the United States andEuropean Union for enacting judicial reforms and wresting power from the country’s once-dominant military. However in the past four years, hundreds of people have been arrested in connection with a series of sprawling terror investigations that critics claim are a tool for stifling dissent. « Read the rest of this entry »

Investigative Journalisten vor Gericht

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Wegen angeblicher Unterstützung einer terroristischen Vereinigung wird zwei Journalisten in der Türkei der Prozess gemacht. Ihnen drohen 15 Jahre Haft.VON JÜRGEN GOTTSCHLICH

http://www.taz.de/Meinungsfreiheit-in-der-Tuerkei/!82381/

Protest türkischer Journalisten gegen die Untersuchungshaft von Ahmet Sik und Nedim Sener im September in Istanbul. Bild:  dapd

ISTANBUL taz |  Gestern begann in Istanbul nach neunmonatiger Untersuchungshaft der Prozess gegen zwei der bekanntesten Journalisten des Landes. Die für ihre investigativen Recherchen mehrfach ausgezeichneten Schreiber Ahmet Sik und Nedim Sener werden der Unterstützung einer terroristischen Vereinigung angeklagt. Die Höchststrafe in dem Verfahren, das nach wenigen Stunden vertagt wurde, beträgt 15 Jahre Haft. Anlass für die Anklage der Staatsanwaltschaft sind jeweils Bücher über die einflußreichste islamische Sekte der Türkei, die so genannte “Gülen Bewegung”. « Read the rest of this entry »

Turkish journalists face judge in test of media freedom

December 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

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 must overhaul media freedom laws – envoy

December 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Nov 15 (Reuters) – European Union candidateTurkey needs to change its attitude to media freedom and laws under which more than 50 Turkish journalists languish in Turkish jails, the head of the Council of Europe human rights body said on Tuesday.

“We clearly have a situation that needs to be solved so that Turkey moves forward,” secretary general Thorbjorn Jagland told a group of foreign journalists in Ankara during a visit. « Read the rest of this entry »

Jailed Author’s Banned Book Launched

December 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

By Ayla Albayrak, Wall Stree Journal, 16.11.2011v

[cited from http://blogs.wsj.com/emergingeurope/2011/11/16/jailed-author%E2%80%99s-banned-book-launched/ ]

The book was banned and the author jailed before it was published, but on Wednesday a group of fellow journalists and writers in Turkey launched Ahmet Sik’s “The Army of Imam” at an annual book fair, outraged by what they see as suppression of free speech.

Associated Press
Investigative reporter Ahmet Sik.

Mr. Sik has been in jail since March and it wasn’t until September that the charges against him — aiding an alleged terrorist organization known as Ergenekon, that aimed to overthrow the government — were made public. His trial is expected to begin later this month. The book is being used in evidence against him. « Read the rest of this entry »

Imprisoned Journalist Nedim Sener deserves a free trial

December 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

Why This Is Important

“I was ready to pay the price to reveal the truth.” When Turkish author, investigative reporter, and International Press Institute (IPI) World Press Freedom Hero Nedim Şener published his 2007 book on the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, he understood the peril faced by journalists in Turkey.

Mr. Şener is now paying that price. Last week, he spent his 250th day in prison, though he has not been convicted of any crime. Next week, on 22 November, he is scheduled to face a first hearing on apparently baseless charges that he belongs to an armed terrorist group.

This March, Mr. Şener was arrested and accused of being part of the so-called Ergenekon plot, in which an alleged clandestine ultra-nationalist organisation with ties to military and security forces is said to have plotted to use terrorism to overthrow the government. The investigation against Mr. Şener is being carried out by the same law-enforcement figures whom he accused of neglect in his book on Hrant Dink. « Read the rest of this entry »

Turkey: Ankara Coup Investigation Credibility Under Attack

December 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

March 7, 2011 – 1:42pm, by Nicholas Birch [cited from http://www.eurasianet.org/node/63022 ]

The credibility of a four-year investigation into a vast coup conspiracy in Turkey is coming under assault after Istanbul prosecutors accused two journalists acclaimed for their work revealing military abuses of being co-conspirators.

The journalists, Ahmet Şik and Nedim Şener, were arrested March 3 along with five other journalists and two writers. They were charged three days later with “membership of a terrorist organization,” according to their lawyers. Şik and Şener join more than 200 people accused in an alleged plot in 2003 and 2004 to persuade Turkey’s military to step in against the government, led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP). « Read the rest of this entry »

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