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Attacks on the Press   |   Turkey

Willing Accomplice

Collusion by the Turkish media compounds the country's crisis
By Andrew Finkel

Turkey's bloody, failed military coup on July 15, 2016, and the ruthless crackdown that followed are testament to the country's escalating crisis of democracy. Though the crisis had been developing for years, with journalists and independent media outlets facing intense legal pressures from a government intent on serving elite interests rather than a free and open society, recent events illustrate a grave, new peril: the compliance and even complicity of the nation's mainstream media in its own emasculation and the suppression of objective news coverage.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of April 9, 2017

Opposition politicians and press freedom advocates call for the release of journalists jailed in Turkey in an April 9, 2017, protest in Istanbul. (AFP/Yasin Akgul)

Erdoğan vows jailed Die Welt correspondent will never return to Germany
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan last night vowed that Die Welt Turkey correspondent Deniz Yücel, a dual citizen of Germany and Turkey would never be allowed to return to Germany so long as he was president, the online newspaper Diken reported.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of March 26, 2017

Abdullah Kılıç, courtesy of the Kılıç family

Istanbul court orders release, pending trial, of at least 19 journalists
Istanbul's 25th Court for Serious Crimes today ordered the release, pending trial, of at least 19 journalists imprisoned in direct relation for their work following the July 2016 failed military coup, according to news reports. The court did not drop any charges against the journalists, who had been imprisoned awaiting trial for roughly eight months. They will now be required to check in with local police and are still banned from foreign travel. The journalists released by Istanbul's 25th Court for Serious Crimes today, and their outlets, are:

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 October 16

A demonstrator carrying a carnation to commemorate last year's bombing of a train station in Ankara meets a policeman in riot gear, October 10, 2016. (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Man accused of shooting at award-winning editor freed pending trial
A court in Istanbul today ordered Murat Şahin--the man accused of attempting to shoot former Cumhuriyet newspaper editor Can Dündar during a break in Dündar's trial on May 6--released pending the conclusion of his trial, Hürriyet Daily News reported.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of September 4

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan adjusts his earpiece at the conclusion of the G20 summit in Hangzhou, China, September 5, 2016. (Reuters/Damir Sagolj)

Police raid Kurdish magazine office
Police raided Istanbul office of the pro-Kurdish magazine Özgür Halk today, the pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency (DİHA) reported. DİHA reported that the raid, which was in progress at the time of publication, was related to the magazine's feature commemorating August 15, the date the banned Kurdistan Worker's Party (PKK) took up arms against the state. Police in the Mediterranean city of İzmir raided the magazine's office there on September 5 and arrested magazine staffer Rabia Özkaya.

Statements   |   Turkey

Turkish prosecutors issue 35 arrest warrants for journalists

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

New York, August 30, 2016 -- Turkish prosecutors should cancel orders for the detention of 35 journalists, and authorities should unconditionally release all journalists already jailed, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Police today detained at least nine of the journalists on the list, according to press reports.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of August 14

A screenshot shows the August 19, 2016, front page of Özgür Gündem newspaper, released as a special edition of the socialist weekly Atılım, bearing the headline "Resistance continues."

Released journalists describe beatings in custody, headline 'Resistance continues'
Journalists from the pro-Kurdish daily newspaper Özgür Gündem, the pro-Kurdish DİHA news agency and broadcaster IMC TV released yesterday alleged that police beat and mistreated them in custody, Özgür Gündem reported on its website, which continues to publish despite a court order temporarily closing the newspaper. The journalists said they intend to file criminal complaints regarding their treatment.

Blog   |   Turkey

Turkey Crackdown Chronicle: Week of July 31

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan leaves a press conference in Ankara, July 20, 2016 (Reuters/Umit Bektas)

Court indicts 12 media workers on terrorism charges
An Istanbul court last night indicted 12 journalists on charges of being a member of a terrorist organization -- the Hizmet movement, which the Turkish government classes as a terrorist group and alleges orchestrated a failed military coup on July 15 - Turkey's official Anatolia news agency reported.

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:

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