‘Friends’ of the West, Enemies of Press Freedom

December 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

Thursday, 29 December 2011


A Year-End Look at 10 Press Freedom Offender States on whose Strategic Support the West Depends

VIENNA, 28 Dec. 2011 – At the close of the year, the International Press Institute (IPI) takes a look at 10 states that have poor records on press freedom, but on whose strategic support the west depends. These ‘Friends’ of the West, Enemies of Press Freedom are listed in no particular order below.




Relations between the west and Turkey – a NATO member since 1952 and still theoretically a candidate to join the European Union – have cooled in recent years, but U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta earlier this month said on a visit to Turkey that the country remains a “key ally”. Western powers have often turned to Turkey, which serves as a bridge between the west and the Muslim world, for help in supporting the transitions to democracy in Iraq, Egypt and Libya, and in confronting the regimes in Syria and Iran.

Press Freedom Enemy:

Turkey presented one of the worst press freedom pictures in Europe, with a judge from the European Court of Human Rights saying in November that the country had taken the lead among Council of Europe members in violations of freedom of expression, including press freedom. « 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 »

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


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 »


December 24, 2011 § Leave a comment


Due to the severe situation for freedom of the media in Turkey, and as a part of its
ongoing work, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) invited other international
organisations to participate in a 22-24 November 2011 press freedom mission to
Turkey. The aim was to make clear to the Turkish government and politicians the view
of the international organisations, as well as to show support for the immediate release
of 63 Turkish journalists who appear to have been jailed because of their work.
On 22 November 2011, the trial of 10 detained Turkish journalists (Ahmet Şik, Nedim
Şener, Soner Yalçin, Bariş Pehlivan, Bariş Terkoğlu, Müyesser Yildiz, Doğan
Yurdakul, Yalçin Küçük, Sait Çakir and Coşkun Musluk), indicted for their alleged
support of terrorist organisations in the so-called “Ergenekon” case, was to start in

You can download the rest of the report from the following link in pdf format: press_freedom_turkey_report

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 »

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