Journalism in Turkey
Turkish prosecutors are seeking to have four journalists arrested for working on a news story about soldiers throwing two Kurdish men off a military helicopter. Considering journalists' meetings with their anonymous sources as “an act of crime,” the prosecutors issued a confidentiality order on the investigation file.
An Istanbul court on Oct. 7 declared exiled journalist Can Dündar a “fugitive” and ruled for the seizure of his assets. Cumhuriyet daily former editor-in-chief Dündar had been granted a period of 15 days to appear before the court in his ongoing trial over coverage of alleged arms shipments to Syria.
A Turkish court has blocked access to the Turkish website of Erbil-based news media group Rudaw. The ban was announced by Free Web Turkey, which tracks access bans in the country. Rudaw is based in Iraqi Kurdistan and broadcasts in multiple languages.
Turkish police have detained four journalists in the eastern province of Van for reporting the throwing of two Kurdish men from a military helicopter. Police raided the journalists' houses, as well as the Van office of the Mesopotamia News Agency, and seized all cameras and technical equipment.
Turkish court orders journalist Yıldız to compensate Defense Minister over reporting deemed ‘insulting’
An Ankara court on Sept. 10 ordered OdaTV journalist Müyesser Yıldız to pay 20,000 Turkish Liras in compensation to Defense Minister Hulusi Akar on the grounds of “insulting” him, after she cited a secret witness in a trial related to the coup attempt who said Akar a was a member of the Gülen movement, T24 reported.
An Ankara court on Sept. 8 rejected the appeal against the arrest of OdaTV Ankara News Editor Müyesser Yıldız, who was jailed in June on espionage charges. OdaTV said that the court gave its decision without waiting for Yıldız's lawyer Erhan Tokatlı to attend the hearing.
Top executives of the independent news portal Diken were acquitted of terrorism charges they faced for reporting on anonymous Twitter user Fuat Avni, who accurately predicted several events before they happened. Diken Founder Harun Simavi, Editor-in-chief Erdal Güven and former Deputy Editor-in-chief Semin Sezerer were accused of "aiding a terrorist organization without being a member."
Main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy Yüksel Mansur Kılınç has submitted a draft bill to parliament that proposes giving digital media journalists press cards. The press law in Turkey doesn't allow digital media journalists to have press cards. They also lack significant advantages that print media outlets have.
Journalist Ender İmrek appeared in court on June 24 in the case that he is accused of "insulting" First Lady Emine Erdoğan "by not attributing nice qualities to her" in a piece that he criticized her for using a Hermes handbag worth $50,000. "This is a crime that doesn't exist. According to the indictment, not praising Emine Erdoğan is equal to insulting her," İmrek told the court.
Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu has once again targeted a journalist over a report revealing nepotism in the municipality in the Black Sea province of Trabzon that's run by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). Soylu, who on May 18 targeted journalist Müyesser Yıldız - who was arrested a short while later - on Twitter, praised the couple in the story, while slamming journalist Saygı Öztürk.
International press groups, including the International Press Institute (IPI), PEN International and Media and Law Studies Association (MLSA), on June 15 urged Turkey to release Kurdish journalist Nedim Türfent from prison ahead of June 21 that marks his 1,500th day behind bars. "We call on Turkish authorities once again to stop this injustice!" they said.
Forty-five prominent rights groups have urged Turkey to release journalist Nedim Türfent ahead of his 1500th day in jail on June 21. "Evidently, he is imprisoned for simply doing his job as a journalist, and he must be released, unconditionally and without delay," Salil Tripathi, Chair of PEN International’s Writers in Prison Committee said.
A court has ruled for the arrest of Oda TV Ankara News Editor Müyesser Yıldız four days after she was detained over "political and military espionage." TELE 1 Ankara correspondent İsmail Dükel, who was detained on the same day, was released on condition of judicial control.
Turkish police on June 8 detained two journalists, TELE 1 Ankara correspondent İsmail Dükel and Oda TV Ankara News Editor Müyesser Yıldız, over unknown reasons. According to Oda TV, Yıldız was detained as part of an ongoing military espionage case launched by Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor's Office. It also said that searches were carried out at her house and all of her digital materials were seized.
In this edition of Turkey: The Long View, Duvar English columnist Luke Frostick is joined by the president of P.E.N. Turkey, an international organization dedicated to protecting the rights of writers around the world.