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 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)

Prosecutors renew detention of Die Welt's Turkey correspondent
A prosecutor in Istanbul yesterday renewed for another week the detention of Deniz Yücel, Turkey correspondent for the German newspaper Die Welt, his employer reported. Police detained the journalist on February 14, but was first reported only on February 17. According to press reports, the journalist is detained as part of an investigation into leaks of emails between Turkey's energy minister and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's son-in-law, Berat Albayrak.

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]

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)

Newspaper distributor says security officers abducted, beat him
Barış Boyraz, a former distributor for the shuttered Kurdish-language daily Azadiya Welat, told the daily newspaper Evrensel that men he believes to be plainclothes police on December 17, 2016, abducted him from the streets of Ankara and beat him.

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.

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