CPJ Blog

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 May 21, 2017

The pro-opposition newspaper Sözcü on May 19 published a blank edition under the headline, "May 19 press freedom special edition" to protest the arrest of two of its journalists the day before.

Court rejects appeals for participants in newspaper solidarity campaign
The Second Chamber of the Istanbul Regional Court yesterday rejected the appeals of two writers and a politician who had previously been handed suspended prison sentences for the contents of Özgür Gündem newspaper on the days on which each symbolically acted as editor of the publication to show solidarity with the staff in the face of persistent judicial harassment, the daily Özgürlükçü Demokrasi reported yesterday. The court upheld writer and columnist Yıldırım Türker's suspended sentence of one year, 10 months, and 15 days in prison; politician Çilem Küçükkeleş's suspended sentence of 15 months in prison; and journalist Kumru Başer's suspended sentence of 15 months in prison. The court ordered a retrial in the case of Murat Uyurkulak, whom a lower court sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 14, 2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Konstantin Palace near St. Petersburg, Russia, October 9, 2016. (AP/Alexander Zemlianichenko)

Police search homes of opposition newspaper owner, staff
Police searched the homes of the owner and three employees of the daily newspaper Sözcü, one of the last remaining large media outlets that opposes the government, the newspaper reported today.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 7

A journalist holds a press sign next to a placard reading 'Enough!' during a World Press Freedom Day rally in Istanbul. Turkey is a leading jailer of journalists. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

Editor detained at courthouse
Police in Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse today detained Çağlar Özbilgin, an editor for the leftist news website sendika.org, his employer reported. Özbilgin was there to attend a hearing of his trial on charges of "insulting the president," but police detained him for a separate criminal investigation into him on suspicion of "provoking the people to hatred and animosity," according to sendika.org. Özbilgin was still detained in the courthouse at the time of writing.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 30, 2017

A January 18, 2012, file photo shows a laptop in the San Francisco offices of the Wikipedia Foundation. (AP/Eric Risberg)

Court overturns reporter's terrorism conviction
The Fourth Court of Appeals in the southeastern Turkish city of Diyarbakır today overturned its previous conviction of Bertitan Canözer, a former reporter for the shuttered JİNHA news agency, on charges of "making propaganda for a terrorist organization," the news website Gazete Sujin reported. Police detained Canözer in December 2015 as she covered a protest in Diyarbakır, CPJ reported at the time. In March 2016, a court ordered her released pending the conclusion of her trial, and in May 2016 Diyarbakır's Fourth Court of Appeals convicted her of the charge and gave her a suspended, 15-month prison sentence, CPJ reported at the time. According to today's Gazete Sujin report, the regional Gaziantep Appeals Court ordered the Diyarbakır court to grant her a retrial.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 23, 2017

Police detain a protester outside the Supreme Board of Elections in Ankara, April 16, 2017. (AP/Burhan Ozbilici)

German magazine correspondent denied credentials for 'insulting president'
Turkish authorities denied Raphael Geiger, the Turkey, Greece, and Middle East correspondent for the German magazine Stern, an extension of his press credentials, saying he had insulted Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the Turkish service of Deutsche Welle reported on April 26. Geiger, who is currently in Athens, said he did not know which of his articles had caused offense, media reports said.

[April 28, 2017]

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 16, 2017

Opposition protesters shout slogans in Istanbul, April 17, 2017. (Reuters/Yagiz Karahan)

Wire reporter jailed
The Supreme Court of Appeals on April 14 upheld the Second Mardin Court for Serious Crimes' November 2016 sentence of two years and four months in prison against Meltem Oktay on charges of "making propaganda for a terrorist organization," the news website Dihaber reported yesterday.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 9, 2017

Opposition politicians and press freedom advocates call for the release of journalists jailed in Turkey in an April 9, 2017, protest in Istanbul. (AFP/Yasin Akgul)

Erdoğan vows jailed Die Welt correspondent will never return to Germany
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last night vowed that Die Welt Turkey correspondent Deniz Yücel, a dual citizen of Germany and Turkey would never be allowed to return to Germany so long as he was president, the online newspaper Diken reported.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 2, 2017

Security forces stand guard atop a building in Istanbul as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gives a speech in favor of amendments to the constitution that would increase his powers, March 26, 2017. (Reuters/Murad Sezer)

Cumhuriyet journalists respond to indictment

Cumhuriyet journalists Kadri Gürsel and Murat Sabuncu, who were listed in an indictment against the Turkish daily earlier this week, reacted to the accusations presented to the court, online newspaper Demokrat Haber and Cumhuriyet reported yesterday.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 26, 2017

Abdullah Kılıç, courtesy of the Kılıç family

Istanbul court orders release, pending trial, of at least 19 journalists
Istanbul's 25th Court for Serious Crimes today ordered the release, pending trial, of at least 19 journalists imprisoned in direct relation for their work following the July 2016 failed military coup, according to news reports. The court did not drop any charges against the journalists, who had been imprisoned awaiting trial for roughly eight months. They will now be required to check in with local police and are still banned from foreign travel. The journalists released by Istanbul's 25th Court for Serious Crimes today, and their outlets, are:

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.

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