The prosecutor who is investigating the infamous helicopter torture case in Van – subject to a confidentiality order - is the same prosecutor who pressed charges against four journalists to send them to jail. As laws get ‘tougher’, not only journalists, but anyone who expresses a critical opinion gets closer to a prison sentence.
Turkey's media watchdog issued a five-day blackout to two news broadcasters that are critical of the government. Both broadcasters will lose their licenses if they receive another broadcast interruption fine.
International Press Institute launches podcast series from Turkey on press freedom, future of journalism
The International Press Institute (IPI) has launched "Freedom Dialogues: Turkey," a podcast series exploring media freedom issues from the country. Hosted by Duvar English's editor-in-chief Cansu Çamlıbel, the first episode kicked off with a conversation with prominent journalist Kadri Gürsel.
Turkey ranked at 154 in a ranking of press freedoms in 180 countries, in decreasing order. Turkey's "the world’s biggest jailer of professional journalists," press freedom organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF) noted in their annual World Press Freedom Index.
Twenty two journalists were sent to jail, nine others were detained, while 20 journalists appeared before the courts in Turkey in March, according to a report prepared by CHP MP Utku Çakırözer. The deputy demanded that imprisoned politicians, prisoners and human rights activists are not excluded from the government's plan to release thousands of prisoners.
CNN Türk barred seven field reporters and nine videographers from its building, relocating them to prefabricated sheds in the parking lot. “Is this your understanding of a precaution?” Turkey’s Journalists’ Union said in a tweet March 22.
The International Press Institute called on governments around the world to ensure the freedom of the press in their respective countries amid the coronavirus outbreak. The IPI urged governments to allow reporters access to information and officials, ensure that press freedom is not limited under the guise of health precautions, and provide reporters with access to protective gear.
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.
The Kremlin hopes that the Russian media outlets in Turkey will not face situations similar to what Sputnik journalists experienced, Russian Presidential Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on March 2, a day after four Sputnik journalists were detained. The Journalists' Union of Turkey said the intimidation of reporters and their detention were unacceptable.