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]
After six months, wire reporter released pending trial
Hakkari's Second Court for Serious Crimes today ordered Şermin Soydan, a reporter for the shuttered pro-Kurdish DİHA news agency, released on probation the leftist newspaper Evrensel reported.
Two years in prison for newspaper editor
Diyarbakır's Fourth Court for Serious Crimes yesterday sentenced İsmail Çoban, responsible news editor of the Kurdish-language daily newspaper Azadiya Welat to two years and four months in prison for "propagandizing for a [terrorist] organization," the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which the Turkish government classifies as a terrorist group.
Note to our readers: CPJ plans to intensify our documentation of press freedom violations in the United States, following the election on November 8, 2016, of Donald Trump as president. During his campaign, Trump verbally attacked journalists, restricted access, threatened lawsuits, and promised to make legal action against the media easier under his administration.
We will have more details in next month's edition.
Opposition newspaper CEO detained
Police at Istanbul's Atatürk airport detained Akın Atalay, CEO of the embattled opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet, as he disembarked from his flight from Berlin today, Turkey's official Anadolu News Agency reported. The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor's Office for Press Crimes had issued a warrant for his arrest in the scope of authorities' investigation into the newspaper on charges of producing propaganda for two rival groups the Turkish government lists as terrorist organizations: the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and what the government calls the Fethullah Gülen Terror Organization (FETÖ).
New York, October 31, 2016 -- The Turkish government should immediately reverse an emergency decree closing at least 15 news agencies, newspapers, and magazines and should immediately release all journalists imprisoned on bogus charges for their work, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
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.
A coalition of 26 international media freedom and human rights advocacy groups, including CPJ, today called on Turkey to lift emergency measures that have resulted in the stifling of criticism and dissent; the detention of large numbers of individuals, including more than 100 journalists; and the removal of fair trial protections and safeguards against torture. The statement came in response to Turkey's extension of state of emergency provisions for another 90 days starting today.
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.