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 January 15

A phone showing a Twitter error message in 2014. A member of Turkey's opposition party claims police are monitoring social media users as part of a planned crackdown. (Reuters/Dado Ruvic)

Terror charges for journalists detained in December

An Istanbul court last night arrested two journalists and a newspaper employee for allegedly "being members of a [terrorist] organization," Bianet reported. Tunca Öğreten, a freelance journalist and former editor of the news website Diken in Istanbul; Ömer Çelik, news editor of Dihaber in Diyarbakır; and Mahir Kanaat, the accounting director for the daily Birgün, have been detained since December 25, as part of an investigation into leaked emails of Turkey's Energy Minister Berat Albayrak, who is also the president's son-in-law, according to reports. Three journalists detained alongside them--Metin Yoksu, a reporter for Dihaber; Derya Okatan, from the Etkin News Agency (ETHA) in Ankara; and Eray Sargın, a news editor for Yolculuk in Istanbul--were released under judicial control, reports said.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 8

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks in Istanbul, December 20, 2016. (Reuters/Murad Sezer)

Erdoğan praises Trump for 'beating down' CNN reporter
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan praised U.S. President-elect Donald Trump for "beating down" ("benzetmek") CNN senior White House correspondent Jim Costa in a January 11 press conference, according to media reports and video widely distributed on the internet. Trump refused to take a question from CNN at the press conference, calling the broadcaster "fake news."

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of January 1

Broken glass scatters across the inside of a café close to the Izmir courthouse targeted in a bombing. News outlets have been ordered to report only official statements about the attack. (STR/AFP)

Jailed investigative journalist held in isolation

Investigative journalist Ahmet Şık has been kept in isolation in prison and denied basic rights since his arrest last week, according to reports that cited his lawyer. Sık, who was detained December 29 on allegations of spreading terrorist propaganda, was kept at Metris Prison in Istanbul for three days before being transferred to Silivri Prison, according to reports.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of December 25

Turkey's deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş, pictured in January 2016, said at a news conference this week that the media should be careful while covering sensitive issues. (Adem Altan/AFP)

Investigative reporter arrested on propaganda charges

The prominent investigative journalist Ahmet Şık was arrested yesterday on allegations of spreading terrorist propaganda. Şık, who was detained in relation to his published writings and posts on social media, was also accused of "publicly humiliating the Republic of Turkey, its judicial organs; military and police organizations," Cumhuriyet reported. Prosecutors questioned Şık over his tweets, three published articles, a public statement, and an interview, according to Hürriyet.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of December 18

People use an internet cafe in Ankara, April 16, 2015. Turkish authorities have censored social media and news websites, and have sought to block access to tools for circumventing that censorship. (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Court confiscates assets of 54 journalists
Istanbul's 11th Court of Penal Peace court confiscated the assets of 54 journalists, media workers, and writers, saying there was a "strong suspicion" that they were followers of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government accuses of maintaining a terrorist organization and "parallel state structure" (FETÖ/PDY, by its Turkish acronym), the news website Bianet reported today.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of December 11

Seen through a Turkish flag, people gather outside Istanbul's Vodafone Stadium to pay respects to those killed in a bombing, December 11, 2016. Turkish authorities imposed a ban on coverage of the attack. (AP/Emrah Gurel)

Columnist jailed pending 'insult' trial for remarks on Syria
Istanbul's Ninth Court of Penal Peace this evening ordered Hüsnü Mahalli, a columnist for the leftist newspaper Yurt, jailed pending trial on charges of "insulting the president" and "insulting a board of civil servants in the course of discharging their duties," the official Anatolia Agency reported.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of December 4

Journalists and activists march for press freedom in Ankara, March 19, 2011. (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Wire reporter released pending conclusion of trial
Mardin's Second Court for Serious Crimes today released Zehra Doğan, a reporter for the shuttered news agency JİNHA, pending the conclusion of her trial, which began today, the pro-Kurdish Dihaber news agency reported. Police detained Doğan on July 22, and a court arraigned her on terrorism charges on July 24, CPJ reported at the time.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of November 27

Can Dündar, the exiled editor of Cumhuriyet newspaper, is pictured in Berlin, November 4, 2016.(Reuters/Axel Schmidt)

Wire reporter released
Police in southeastern Mardin province today released Fethi Balaman, the leftist daily newspaper Evrensel reported. Police on November 29 detained the former reporter for the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency, which the government on October 31 ordered closed by emergency decree.

[December 1, 2016]

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 30

Supporters of Cumhuriyet newspaper protest a police raid of the daily's Istanbul's office, October 31, 2016. The signs read, "Free media cannot be silenced" (center), and "Don't bow down" (rear). (Reuters/Murad Sezer)

Social media websites, WhatsApp blocked as police detain opposition leaders
Turkey last night blocked access to social media websites and the text-messaging application WhatsApp as police arrested members of parliament for the opposition HDP party, including the party's co-chairs, Selahattin Demirtaş and Figen Yuksekdag, according to press reports.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of October 23

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan addresses supporters in Istanbul, August 7, 2016. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

EU Parliament urges Turkey to release journalists
The European Parliament urged Turkey to release all journalists jailed without proof of their alleged involvement in the failed July 15 military coup, Hürriyet Daily News reported, based on the text of the resolution.

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