Turkey’s shrinking media freedoms – Europe – Al Jazeera English

January 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

http://www.aljazeera.com/video/europe/2012/01/2012123165013577901.html

Turkey ranks 138th in a global press freedom index, with hundreds of journalists in jail and many websites banned.

Video: Turkey’s shrinking media freedoms – Europe – Al Jazeera English.

Hrant Dink, a Turkish editor and journalist who campaigned for many years for the Turkish government to recognise the genocide of Armenians, was murdered in 2007 in what many believe was a police-related incident.

His is just one case concerning press freedoms which have lead many in the country to believe the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AK Party, has broken its promises to protect liberties.

According to recent accounts, nearly 100 journalists in Turkey are in prison while 1,000 of the country’s 16,000 cases pending at the European Court of Human Rights are related to media freedom.

In the first of a three-part series on reforms within the country, Al Jazeera’s Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Istanbul, takes a closer look at the state of press freedom.

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 »

RSF: Turkey Loses Ground again in World Press Freedom Index

January 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

 http://bianet.org/english/world/135713-turkey-loses-ground-again-in-world-press-freedom-index

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 »

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 »

Turkish journalists are very frightened – but we must fight this intimidation

January 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

Ece Temelkuran, The Guardian, January 27, 2012

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jan/27/turkish-journalists-fight-intimidation

A journalist’s murder and jailing of two others is an attempt to silence the media – but it makes me more determined to speak.

Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was gunned down outside his office in Istanbul. Photograph: Mustafa Ozer/AFP/Getty

Including my emotionless “thank you”, the phone conversation lasted less than a minute. “The newspaper’s owner has decided… Er… not to… renew your contract… I am sorry.” « 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 »

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