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December 13, 2010

Turkey: Press freedom prize winner acquitted

Publisher Irfan Sanci (Sel Yayincilik/Publishing), recipient of the 2010 IPA Freedom Prize - Special Award, and the translator of Guillaume Apollinaire's Adventures of the Young Don Juan , have been acquitted in Istanbul. IPA, which observed the trial, welcomes their acquittal, hoping this will lead to other publishers' acquittals and a significant decrease in freedom to publish trials in Turkey. The owner of Sel publishing, Irfan Sanci, was being sued under Article 226 of the Turkish penal... MORE
December 13, 2010

Former women's magazine editor in Turkey arrested, faces 21 years in prison

Berivan Eker, former editor-in-chief of the Renge Heviya Jine women's magazine, was arrested on December 5, IPS Communication Foundation (BIANET) has reported. Her predecessors, Gurbet Cakar, Sultan Sonsuz, Ruken Aktas and Sibel Esmer are all either convicted or facing prison terms. Renge Heviya Jine (The Colour of Women's Hope) is the only women's magazine in Turkey published in both Kurdish and Turkish. The number of journalists in detention in Turkey went down by one due to the recent... MORE
November 22, 2010

Anti-terrorism law in Turkey used repeatedly to charge journalists with terrorist propaganda

Turkey continues to abuse its anti-terrorism law to censor and punish journalists who raise the issue of its Kurdish minority or quote certain Kurdish leaders. Use of the law to prosecute journalists has increased since it was amended in 2006. Under article 7/2 of the law, propaganda on behalf of a terrorist organisation is punishable by imprisonment. As neither “propaganda” nor “terrorist organization” is defined, the article can easily be interpreted in the broadest possible way to target... MORE
October 28, 2010

Broadcasting council in Turkey urged to drop Kanal D prosecution

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has urged the Radio and TV Supreme Council (RTÜK) in Turkey to drop the prosecution it has brought against Kanal D, a privately-owned TV station critical of the government, for broadcasting the reactions of the families of ten soldiers who were killed in an ambush by members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The station, which is owned by the Dogan group, is facing a possible fine of between 192,000 and 384,000 euros... MORE
October 26, 2010

More disappointing decisions in murder trial as Turkey turns a deaf ear to criticism

During the 15th hearing Monday in the trial in Istanbul of newspaper editor Hrant Dink’s alleged killers, the court rejected the Dink family’s request for the murder to be reenacted in the presence of alleged hitman Ogün Samast at the spot where Dink was gunned down, outside the office of his Turkish-Armenian weekly Agos in the Istanbul district of Sisli. In a surprise development, the court decided that Samast should be tried separately before a special court for minors on the grounds that he... MORE
October 4, 2010

Ninth case filed against Turkish journalist Ismail Saymaz

Turkish reporter Ismail Saymaz faces 79 years in prison due to the publication of critical articles for the Turkish daily newspaper Radikal , IPI's National Committee in Turkey has reported. Saymaz, accused of "violating the secrecy of an investigation" in relation to the Ergenekon trials and events in the city of Erzincan, has previously been charged with no less than eight other criminal cases. The eighth trial opened up against him on account of his article titled, "Love games in Ergenekon... MORE
September 16, 2010

Turkish state failed to protect slain newspaper editor, European court rules

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the Turkish state failed in its duty to prevent newspaper editor Hrant Dink’s murder by acting on the information it had about plots against him, and violated his freedom of expression before his murder. The human rights court on September 14 ordered Turkey to pay his widow, Rakel Dink, and his children 100,000 euros in compensation and his brother, Hosrof Dink, another 5,000 euros. A Turkish citizen of Armenian origin, Dink was gunned outside... MORE
September 2, 2010

Two Kurdish newspapers banned for a month over PKK photographs, news

Kurdish publications have again been suspended or seized under the Anti-Terrorism Law (Law 3713), which allows the Turkish courts to impose harsh penalties on journalists and media when they allude to Kurdish armed separatists and fosters a repressive climate for the Kurdish media. Although the European Court of Human Rights has repeatedly condemned Turkey because of the Anti-Terrorism Law, the country’s constitutional court has refused to consider overturning it. In the latest case, an... MORE
August 31, 2010

European rights court rules against Turkey in case of murdered journalist

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has convicted Turkey in the case of Hrant Dink. The Turkish-Armenian journalist was assassinated on January 19, 2007 in Istanbul. According to news obtained by IPS Communication Foundation (BIANET), the ECHR chamber decided that there had been a violation of the right to life because Turkey did not prevent the murder of the journalist and did not carry out an effective investigation afterwards. One of the files tried in the scope of this case was... MORE
August 24, 2010

Turkey deports US journalists over Kurdish links, bars him from returning

The Turkish interior ministry has deported US journalist Jake Hess and ban him from re-entering the country. Arrested by anti-terrorist police in the mainly Kurdish southeastern province of Diyarbakir on August 11, Hess was deported on August 20 after being held for nine days. In its release in response to Hess' arrest, Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) had demanded his immediate release and warned that his expulsion would not be an appropriate solution. “My client... MORE