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Press Freedom News and Views

Özgür Öğret

Özgür Öğret is a Turkish freelance journalist and CPJ’s Turkey representative. He was lead researcher for the 2012 CPJ special report, "Turkey's Press Freedom Crisis."

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 26, 2017

Abdullah Kılıç, courtesy of the Kılıç family

Trial for 29 journalists begins
The trial of 29 journalists and media workers, including Abdullah Kılıç, began in Istanbul today. Hearings were still in session at the time of publication.

March 27, 2017 10:23 AM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 19, 2017

A demonstrator walks around a bonfire to mark the spring festival of Newroz in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakır, March 21, 2016. Ethnic Kurds marked the occasion last year with a demonstration calling for the resumption of peace talks with the government. (Reuters/Sertac Kayar)

Security forces detain reporter in southeastern Turkey
Security forces in the southeastern province of Mardin today detained Dihaber reporter Murat Verim, the news agency reported. Dihaber said the arrest was part of an ongoing terrorism investigation.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 12

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses local government officials in Ankara, January 19, 2017. (Yasin Bulbul/Presidential Press Service/Pool via AP)

Editor sentenced to nine years in prison
The 7th Court for Serious Crimes in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakır yesterday sentenced Aydın Atar, former news editor for the shuttered Kurdish-language daily newspaper Azadiya Welat, to nine years, four months, and 15 days in prison on charges of "propagandizing for a [terrorist] organization," the news website Dihaber reported. The journalist is free, pending appeal.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 5

Protesters in Berlin call for the release of Die Welt Turkey correspondent Deniz Yücel, February 28, 2017. (Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch)

Suspended sentences, fines, for participants in newspaper solidarity campaign
Istanbul's 22nd Court for Serious Crimes today convicted four people of terrorism charges in connection with the coverage of the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem on the days on which they each symbolically acted as co-editor of the newspaper to protest authorities' relentless judicial harassment of the newspaper, according to news reports. Police raided and sealed the newspaper's office in August 2016, as dozens of writers, activists, academics, and artists continued to show solidarity with the newspaper by symbolically adding their names to the newspaper's masthead for a day.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 26

"Free Deniz" is written across the Berlin headquarters of publisher Axel Springer Markus Schreiber, February 28, 2017. (AP/Markus Schreiber)

Shots fired at newspaper office, no one injured
An unknown assailant in a moving taxi fired two shots from a handgun at the building housing the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet in Istanbul this morning, Cumhuriyet reported. A police investigation is in progress, the report said.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 19

A float depicting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan stands ready for the upcoming Rose Monday carnival parade in Mainz, Germany, February 21, 2017. The signs say 'democracy' and 'freedom of speech.' (Reuters/Ralph Orlowski)

Detention of Die Welt Turkey correspondent complicates relations with Germany
The detention of Deniz Yücel, Turkey correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt, has complicated relations with German officials, the socialist daily Evrensel, the German news website Handelsbatt Global, and the pro-Turkish-government Daily Sabah reported. According to a February 21 Handelsbatt Global report, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke with Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım about the German-Turkish dual citizen's case at the Munich Security Conference over the past weekend.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 12

A court on February 14, 2017, handed columnist Hasan Cemal, seen here at a colleague's funeral in Istanbul on October 30, 2015, a suspended sentence of one year and three months in prison on charges of propagandizing for a terrorist group in one of his columns.

Publisher closes magazine for cartoon lampooning Moses
The publisher of the cartoon magazine GırGır announced today that he was closing down the magazine after its publication of a cartoon depicting Moses irritating his followers wandering in the desert by talking too much and bragging about parting the Red Sea sparked outrage on social media, including from the president's office, news website T24 reported.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of February 5

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan chairs a meeting of the National Security Council in Ankara, January 31, 2017. (Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Press Service/Pool via AP)

German court upholds partial ban on poem satirizing Erdoğan
A court in the German city of Hamburg today upheld a previous court's ban on comedian Jan Böhmermann's reciting 18 of 24 verses of a poem satirizing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that the comedian recited on television last year, according to press reports. Erdoğan pressed insult charges against the comedian.

[February 10, 2017]

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 29

On the 10th anniversary of his death, January 19, 2017, carnations, candles, and signs mark the spot in Istanbul where journalist Hrant Dink was murdered. The sign reads "Long live the brotherhood of people. We will not forget, we will not forgive." (Reuters/Osman Orsal)

Columnist investigated for referendum comments
Prosecutors in Istanbul opened an investigation into Bekir Coşkun, a columnist for the pro-opposition daily newspaper Sözcü, regarding remarks he made in a column about a coming referendum on whether the constitution should be amended to increase the president's powers, Dogan News Agency reported.

January 30, 2017 12:44 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 22

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses local government officials in Ankara, January 19, 2017. (Yasin Bulbul/Presidential Press Service/Pool via AP)

Diaspora news website censored before publishing
The bilingual German-Turkish news website Özgürüz ("We Are Free"), which is edited by exiled Cumhuriyet editor Can Dündar, reported that Turkish authorities had blocked access to the website 12 hours before it published its first story today. The website said it believed ozguruz.org made censorship history as the first news website to be blocked before it started publishing. CPJ honored Dündar with its 2016 International Press Freedom Award.

[January 27, 2017]

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