Turkey

Prison sentences for Turkish columnists

A court sentences two columnists to two years in prison each for republishing cartoons from French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo after the January 2015 attacks on their Paris offices. Istanbul airport security officials prevent four international journalists from entering the country in a week. Police raid the offices of Samanyolu TV after a court places its parent company under trusteeship. Cumhuriyet journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül stand trial behind closed doors. The two face multiple life sentences if convicted, amid a worsening crackdown on Turkey's press.

Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 24
Timeline: Erdoğan vs. the press

(AFP/Bulent Kilic)

Attacks on the Press   |   Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Turkey

The Struggle for Candid Interviews

Inside a four-room apartment in Antakya, Turkey, a town on the border with Syria, more than a dozen men sat on mattresses on the floor. It was just past 10 p.m. and the soldiers, all men in the Free Syrian Army, the rebel opposition group in Syria, were busy coordinating their next trip into the country. The sound of metal clinking emanated from a back room where younger recruits were assembling Kalashnikovs and shoulder-fired missiles.

April 27, 2016 8:00 AM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 24

A man reads Cumhuriyet newspaper in Istanbul, January 14, 2015. The newspaper said police stopped delivery trucks from leaving the printers on that date to verify that the newspaper had not republished cartoons from the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. (AP)

Prison sentences for columnists who republished Charlie Hebdo cartoons
Istanbul's Second Criminal Court today sentenced Ceyda Karan and Hikmet Çetinkaya, columnists for the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, to two years in prison each on charges of "insulting people's religious values," Cumhuriyet and and the privately owned daily newspaper Hürriyet reported. Both are free, pending appeal.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 17

Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdoğan removes his earpiece after speaking at the Brookings Institution, in Washington, March 31, 2016 (Joshua Roberts/Reuters).

Trial resumes for journalists facing multiple life sentences
The trial of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, editor and Ankara bureau chief, respectively, of Cumhuriyet newspaper resumed behind closed doors in Istanbul today. The court today denied prosecutors' request to combine the case with another case targeting alleged supporters of exiled preacher Fethullah Gülen, whom the Turkish government accuses of maintaining a terrorist organization and "parallel state structure" within Turkey, according to press reports and the journalists' lawyers, who posted updates from the trial to the social media website Twitter. The trial is expected to resume on May 6.

Blog   |   Turkey

'Erdoğan is killing journalism,' says Today's Zaman editor forced out after takeover

A copy of Zaman, with a headline that reads 'Suspended, the constitution,' is held up the day after the daily was taken over by court-appointed trustees. (AFP/Ozan Kose)

Since the Turkish daily Zaman and its English-language sister publication Today's Zaman were taken over by court-appointed trustees last month, over accusations of terrorist propaganda, the papers' journalists have witnessed riot police fill their newsrooms, the arrests of colleagues, and the loss, through resignations and dismissals, of fellow journalists.

Alerts   |   Turkey

Syrian journalist killed in Turkey

New York, April 12, 2016--Syrian journalist Zaher al-Shurqat died today after being shot Sunday in the southern Turkish town of Gaziantep, according to news reports. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, making this the fourth Syrian journalist it claims to have targeted for murder in Turkey in six months.

April 12, 2016 4:33 PM ET

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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 10

German television satirist Jan Böhmermann poses on set in an October 13, 2013, file photo (Spiegl Ullstein Bild/Getty).

Merkel approves prosecution of German comic for insulting Erdoğan
German Chancellor Angela Merkel today told reporters the German government would allow prosecutors to act on Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's request that television satirist Jan Böhmermann be prosecuted for a profane poem about Erdoğan he read on the March 31 episode of his television program.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 3

Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdoğan in Cannakale, Turkey, March 18, 2016 (Photo: Khayan Ozer/Presidential Press Service/AP)

Trial of 46 journalists, media workers resumes
The trial of 46 journalists and media workers arrested in December 2011 resumed in Istanbul today. CPJ attended the trial as an observer.

Impact   |   Azerbaijan, Colombia, Turkey, UAE

CPJ turns 35, jailed journalists walk free, reporters on trial in Turkey, and more

CPJ Newsletter: April edition

Four imprisoned journalists freed in Azerbaijan

The president of Azerbaijan in March issued a decree pardoning 148 people, including three imprisoned journalists--Hilal Mamedov, Tofiq Yaqublu, and Parviz Hashimli.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 27

Can Dündar (center) and Erdem Gül (left) speak to reporters before their trial resumes in Istanbul, April 1, 2016. (Özgür Öğret)

Erdoğan, in Washington, says not at war with press; bodyguards insult, harass journalists
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, visiting Washington, on Thursday told the American television station CNN that he and his government were "not at war with the press," in remarks broadcast after his security detail harassed, insulted, and attempted to forcibly eject critical Turkish journalists from a speaking event, according to press reports and videos posted to social media websites.

Alerts   |   Turkey

Turkish judge rules trial for journalists facing life sentences to be closed to public

Can Dündar, left, and Erdem Gül speak to reporters before standing trial in Istanbul, March 25, 2016. (AP)

Istanbul, March 25, 2016 - The Committee to Protect Journalists condemns an Istanbul court's decision to bar the public from the trial of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, journalists for the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet. Representatives from CPJ and other press freedom groups attended the first session of the trial today.

March 25, 2016 10:16 AM ET

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