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May 9, 2014

Three journalists released after eight-year imprisonment in Turkey

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has today warmly welcomed the release of Turkish journalists, Füsun Erdoğan , Bayram Namaz and Arif Çelebi , who had been behind bars for almost eight years since September 2006. ‘‘We welcome the fantastic news that Füsun Erdoğan, Bayram Namaz and Arif Çelebi, have finally been released and can now return to their families, loved ones and colleagues,’’ said Mogens Blicher Bjerregård, EFJ President. The lawyer representing the three journalists had... MORE
March 27, 2014

Turkey: EFJ welcomes release of journalists, denounces YouTube blocking

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has welcomed the release of eight journalists in Turkey, but has called on the country’s government to immediately lift the latest social media ban on Youtube. According to media reports, eight Kurdish journalists, arrested in the KCK (Kurdistan Communities Union) press case on December 20, 2011, were released from prison in the early hours of Wednesday, March 27.. Information provided by lawyers says the names of the journalists released are: Semiha... MORE
March 23, 2014

Turkey: Toxic climate for media a week ahead of elections

Municipal and regional elections regarded as a key test for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government will be held on March 30 after weeks of campaign tension that has not spared Turkey’s journalists. Embroiled in political and financial scandals and waging an information war with the influential followers of US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen, the government has stepped up pressure on the media. Reporters Without Borders deplored the poisonous climate in which journalists have to work and... MORE
March 21, 2014

Turkey: Blocking of Twitter condemned widely

Press freedom organisations have condemned Turkey’s blocking of Twitter, which began at around midnight Thursay night, just nine days ahead of regional elections and after several weeks in which Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s standing has been damaged by the leaking of a series of embarrassing audio recordings online. The alleged recordings of Erdogan’s conversations, many of which have been posted on Twitter, point to involvement in alleged corruption as well as his personal meddling in... MORE
March 21, 2014

Turkish prime minister threatens to shut down Twitter

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has threatened to close down Twitter. The threats come only days after he vowed to shut down Facebook and YouTube in Turkey. "We call on Prime Minister Erdoğan to stop his vitriol against social media in the country and focus on ensuring that all information platforms are free to function freely in advance of local elections," Committee to Protect Journalists Europe and Central Asia Programme Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. "Turkish authorities must... MORE
March 13, 2014

CPJ welcomes release of journalists in Turkey

The Committee to Protect Journalists has welcomed the release this week of five Turkish journalists who were imprisoned after being sentenced to jail in connection with the controversial Ergenekon case . Three of the journalists-- Yalçın Küçük , Deniz Yıldırım , and Merdan Yanardağ --were convicted because of their work, according to CPJ research. In the cases of Tuncay Özkan and Hikmet Çiçek , CPJ had not been able to establish a connection. "We are pleased that the journalists have been... MORE
March 9, 2014

Erdogan threatens to shut down YouTube, Facebook

The Committee to Protect Journalists is concerned by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's threats to shut down YouTube and Facebook in order to, in the premier's words, prevent the negative impact of the Internet on society. "We call on the government of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to stop censoring or threatening to censor the media in an attempt to control the free flow of information," CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. "Social media are not a menace to... MORE
March 8, 2014

Turkey drifts dangerously away from free press

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Rayyip Erdogan’s declarations on March 7, during which he announced new Internet restrictions would be discussed, have been criticised by Reporters Without Borders . According to these new restrictions, local Facebook and Youtube pages could be completely shut down. “We are extemely worried by the fact that Erdogan would even consider such radical actions. The government has been multiplying legal initiatives which jeopardize freedom of information, letting us... MORE
March 7, 2014

Turkey: Government leaned on judicial system in media holding case

The Turkish government has been interfering in a series of prosecutions in 2009 against Dogan Holding , a conglomerate that owns many leading news media. Telephone recordings leaked on March 3 show that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and then justice minister Sadullah Ergin intervened directly in these proceedings, which resulted in Dogan being ordered to pay an astronomical fine of more than 3 billion Turkish pounds (more than 1 billion euros). “The many revelations in recent weeks about... MORE
February 7, 2014

Turkish president should veto Internet bill

The Committee to Protect Journalists calls on Turkish President Abdullah Gül to veto the Internet bill passed Wednesday by the Turkish Parliament. The bill would grant the Turkish government unprecedented control over the Internet by allowing Web pages to be blocked without a court order, requiring mandatory data retention by Internet Service Providers, and authorizing the government to seize user data on demand, all without meaningful procedural safeguards. "These amendments have no place in a... MORE