Journalism in Turkey
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.
CHP Istanbul deputy Sezgin Tanrıkulu has prepared a report on rights violations in Turkey in April, saying that there were 271 instances that the right to life was violated. Tanrıkulu, in his report, also cited violations related to COVID-19, mainly stemming from the government's bans on opposition municipalities from carrying out aid campaigns.
A footage showing a prison guard hitting OdaTV's editor-in-chief Barış Pehlivan has emerged, refuting Bakırköy Chief Public Prosecutor's Office's earlier claims on the journalist being not subjected to mistreatment. In the footage, Pehlivan is seen in a room with the prison guard, who hits the journalist's back and leans towards him to speak.
Four journalists of the opposition Cumhuriyet newspaper have given their testimonies to the Istanbul police station over a news report concerning illegal construction undertaken by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s aide Fahrettin Altun on a land in Istanbul’s Kuzguncuk neighborhood. The journalists said that the news piece in question does not have "a purpose of showing Altun as a target" and "was penned for the purpose of journalism."
Turkish news anchor Fatih Portakal assured his audience April 16 that he would continue to deliver the news despite the fine of a three-time cancellation of his news show. Portakal was fined for his criticism of the government's handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
OdaTV's editor-in-chief Barış Pehlivan has filed a criminal complaint against a prison guard who he said battered him upon his arrival at the Silivri Prison. Pehlivan was arrested last week over a report covering the funeral of a member of an intelligence operative killed in Libya.
Access to OdaTV has been blocked as a result of “an administrative order” imposed by the Turkish Telecommunications Authority (BTK). The move came after two OdaTV journalists were arrested over charges of violating intelligence laws by disclosing the identity of an intelligence operative even though an opposition MP had revealed the name a week prior to the publication of the OdaTV story.
Jailed mafia leader Kürşat Yılmaz said that he was shown a picture of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink in the past in order for him to murder Dink. "İsmail Issız, Ömer Küçükyurt and Hüseyin Albay came to me for the murder. I don't remember who but one of them showed me a picture of Dink and said, 'Murder him too. We will protect you,'" he said.