Turkey's Constiutional Court (AYM) has ruled than an article guaranteeing that journalists who do not receive their overtime pay on time get an additional five percent per day that it is not paid is unconstitutional, declaring that the article puts too much of a burden on the employer. Independent lawyers and unions criticize the court's decision for comparing conditions required for a free press with other professions.
An Istanbul court has confirmed the convictions against 12 former employees of Cumhuriyet, despite their sentences having been overturned by a higher court in September. The Court of Cassation, Turkey's high court of appeals, had in September overturned the sentences and freed the former journalists pending retrial. But in a ruling on Nov. 21, the lower court ignored that decision and reconfirmed the original sentences, with the exception of one journalist – Kadri Gürsel – who was acquitted.
Eight international press freedom and journalism organizations have highlighted the continued jailing of over 120 journalists in Turkey as "a deep stain on the country's human rights record" at the launch of a joint report in Brussels. "Turkey must urgently revise all anti-terror and defamation laws, repeatedly abused to silence critical press. In particular it must end the deliberate conflation of public criticism with terrorism propaganda," says the report.
An official from the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), Turkey's broadcast authority, has said that amendments will be made regarding the content that is considered admissible in ice cream adds, which he said “exceeded moral boundaries."
The Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA) will be organizing an event on fighting impunity in political assassinations of journalists and intellectuals on Nov. 15 with the families and colleagues of slain journalists in Turkey, Malta and Serbia.
Last week, the mainstream daily Hürriyet newspaper fired dozens of journalists by sending emails or letters to their homes, in a startling move that marks yet another blow to the already-troubled state of the Turkish media. The 43 journalists were members of the Journalists Union of Turkey (TGS), which in a statement referred to the firings as a “liquidation” of the union members working at the paper. The ensuing backlash included the resignation of the paper's editor-in-chief and some of its most notable columnists.
The first daily newspaper representing Turkey's Alevi minority is expected to come out on Nov. 6. It aims to be an outlet and resource for Alevis and their issues as well as an addition to the country's struggling opposition media.
Faruk Bildirici, a member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and a member of the board of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK), Türkey's broadcast watchdog authority, was removed his post on Thursday. Bildirici has criticized a recent amendment approved by RTÜK concerning how public service announcements are labeled.
In response to a lawsuit filed by a journalist association in order to stop changes in a regulation that made it easier for the government to cancel press cards, a lawyer for the presidency defended their position by stating that it is in fact not required by law in Turkey to hold a press card in order to practice journalism.
A coalition of 10 international press freedom and journalism organizations has intervened at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in support of a case brought by Idris Sayılgan, a Kurdish journalist from Turkey jailed since 2016 on anti-terror charges. Sayılgan’s appeal to Turkey’s Constitutional Court, filed in July 2018, has gone unanswered. In January 2019, Sayılgan was sentenced to eight years and three months in prison.
Vice President Fuat Oktay responded to a question in parliament by CHP MP Ömer Fethi Gürer regarding press cards. According to Oktay, 3,804 press cards were cancelled in last 5 years.
Member of Radio TV Supreme Council criticizes a recent amendment for facilitating government propaganda
A member of the Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTÜK) Faruk Bildirici criticized a recent amendment concerning how public service announcements are labeled. According to Bildirici, 30-45 second commercial broadcasts on radio or television are normally quite expensive, but if they are designated as a public service announcement or a mandatory broadcast, they are free. As such, RTÜK receives a large number of applications for public service announcements, and many of these come from government ministries.
A lawsuit filed against prominent investigative journalist Çiğdem Toker has been dropped. The Şenbay Mining company was seeking 1.5 million TL in damages from Toker due to an article she wrote in which she claimed that the company was essentially handed a contract to help build a metro route to Istanbul's new airport without having to compete in a tender.
The collapse of the security situation in Syrian Kurdistan is due to a Turkish offensive as well as a counter-offensive led by the Syrian government, which has begun to deploy its forces in the northeast after having reached an accord with the local Kurdish authorities.