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Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 11

In this October 11, 1999, file photo, Turkish writers (left to right) Orhan Pamuk, Ahmet Altan, and Yasher Kemal hold a news conference to urge a peaceful resolution to the conflict with Kurdish separatists. Police detained Altan and his brother, Mehmet, on September 10, 2016. (Reuters)

Eid holiday leaves detained writers in legal limbo, lawyers say
Veysel Ok and Ergin Cinmen, lawyers for Mehmet and Ahmet Altan, two prominent writers detained four days ago, yesterday made a joint statement saying that because of the Eid holiday they could not find the responsible prosecutor or a court in which to appeal their clients' detention.

They called the charges against the brothers - sending "subliminal messages" about the July 15 failed military coup in their writings before the fact - "unserious."

[September 13, 2016]

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 28

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan waves to supporters at an August 7, 2016, rally in Istanbul. (Ozan Kose/AFP)

Government revokes press credentials for 115 journalists
Turkey's General Directorate for Press, Broadcasting, and Information (BYEGM, by its Turkish acronym) -- the bureau within the prime minister's office responsible for accrediting journalists -- today revoked the credentials of 115 journalists, Turkey's official Anatolia News Agency reported. The government alleged the journalists were affiliated with the Hizmet movement -- or FETÖ, as the government calls it - which the Turkish government classes as a terrorist group and accuses of plotting a failed July 15 military coup that left more than 200 people dead.

Statements   |   Turkey

Turkey shutters more than 100 media outlets as purge continues

New York, July 28, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Turkish authorities today to stop its sweeping purge of the media, and to allow all journalists to work freely at this critical time for the country. A decree published yesterday in Turkey's Official Gazette ordered the closure of more than 100 broadcasters, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses and distribution companies.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 24

In this July 24, 2016, handout photo, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan gives the Rabaa salute, a reference to Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawaya Square, where Egyptian soldiers and police in August 2013 killed hundreds of supporters of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi protesting the military's ousting of the Egyptian president in July 2013. (Pool/AP)

At least 48 journalists detained in one week
Police in Turkey detained at least 48 journalists in the past week, according to the independent news website P24 and the Twitter account of Ben Gazeteciyim, a volunteer association of Turkish journalists formed to show solidarity with their threatened colleagues. At the time of publication, 21 of those detained were at Istanbul's Çağlayan Courthouse being interrogated by prosecutors and waiting to see a judge. Eren Şener, lawyer for journalists Bülent Mumay and Arda Akın, told the news website Bianet that prosecutors had asked his clients about their activity on Twitter, news stories they had written, and whether they viewed the Hizmet movement, which the Turkish government accuses of orchestrating a failed military coup on July 15 that left more than 200 people dead, as a terrorist organization.

According to P24 and Ben Gazeteciyim, the 21 people at Çağlayan Courthouse at the time of publication were:

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 12

Turkey's Constitutional Court -- seen here in a December 11, 2009, file photo -- on June 17 rejected journalist Mehmet Baransu's contention that his rights were violated in his March 2015 arrest. (AP)

Constitutional Court rejects journalist's appeal
Turkey's Constitutional Court today ruled that journalist Mehmet Baransu's constitutional right to freedom of expression and the constitution's guarantees of press freedom were not contravened in the journalist's March 2015 arrest in connection with in an alleged, elaborate conspiracy codenamed "Sledgehammer." The same court in May 2016 rejected his petition to be released from pre-trial detention, CPJ reported at the time.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of June 5

Police use water cannons to disperse protesters in front of the Istanbul headquarters of the Koza İpek media group after a court ordered it put into trusteeship, October 28, 2015. A columnist for Bugün, one of the group's former holdings, was released on June 10, 2016, after seven months' pre-trial detention. (Mehmet Ali Poyraz/Cihan News Agency/AP)

Provincial officials ask journalists to submit to prior censorship: report
Top officials in southeastern Turkey's Gaziantep province, near the Syrian border, on June 1 convened local journalists to ask them not to report on "the bad things happening in the city," and to submit their stories to a group on the messaging service WhatsApp which would include the governor's press officer, Nurgün Balcıoğlu, Gaziantep correspondent for the pro-government daily Sabah told the news website Bianet today.

Alerts   |   Turkey

Turkish High Court denies journalist's petition for release from pretrial detention

Istanbul, May 18, 2016--The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemned a decision made Tuesday by Turkey's Constitutional Court to reject a petition for release by journalist Mehmet Baransu, who has been held in pretrial detention since March 2015 on charges of obtaining classified documents.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 15

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaks to local officials at the presidential palace in Ankara, May 4, 2016. (Adem Altan/AFP)

Veteran columnist pleads 'not guilty' to charges of insulting Erdoğan
Veteran journalist Hasan Cemal, a columnist for the news website T24 and a founder of the news website P24, today pleaded not guilty to charges of insulting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at Istanbul's 12th Criminal Court of First Instance, T24 reported.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of May 1

A screenshot from an online video feed of Turkey's NTV television station shows police detaining the man suspected of attempting to shoot Cumhuriyet journalist Can Dündar outside his trial in Istanbul, May 6, 2016.

Leading Turkish journalists sentenced to five years in prison
The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned a Turkish court's sentencing today of two journalists for the opposition daily Cumhuriyet.

Blog   |   Turkey

Erdoğan vs the press: Insult law used to silence president's critics

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, left, looks at a cell phone during a meeting in 2013. Since Erdoğan became president there has been an increase in insult charges filed against Turkey's press. (AP/Abdeljalil Bounhar)

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is known for being intolerant of critics. During his third term as prime minister, Turkey was the leading jailer of journalists in the world with more than 60 behind bars at the height of the crackdown in 2012. Most of those have been released, but the press faces another threat--Article 299 of the penal code, "Insulting the President," which carries a prison term of more than four years if content deemed to be offensive is published in the press.

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